Former Prime Minister, Basdeo Panday, is of the view that Tuesday’s announced shake-up of the Water and Sewerage Authority, will not help its deep-rooted problem.
A Cabinet Sub-Committee chaired by Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales, found that “WASA has become an unproductive, unresponsive organisation that has deteriorated and is no longer efficiently serving the people of TT.”
Panday, in an interview with the Express, said WASA’s woes were deep-rooted so “there will be no change”.
He said “They have found out about people there who mismanaged before, and what has happened to those persons? Nothing. Because they are party members or friends. What they are doing won’t help because they are not touching the problem at the fundamental and root cause,” he said.
During his announcement yesterday, Minister Gonzales added that WASA’s monthly desalination bill is almost US$7 million and he questioned why this country was buying desalinated water.
Gonzales said “If you get management right and you get the water resource agency within WASA to do what they are supposed to do and you drill for those wells, you rehabilitate those wells, you can bring about almost 30 to 40 millions of gallons of water in the grid, thereby removing the country’s dependence on desalination water and saving this country hundreds of millions of dollars within the shortest time possible.”
But, Panday, who was prime minister at the time of the construction of the desalination plant, said “When we were in office, the report we had was that a lot of the water was being sent to Point Lisas (Industrial Estate) and that’s why the people didn’t have water. So we set up the desal plant in order to supply water basically to Point Lisas.
Panday told the media house “When we set up that plant, what we were paying Desal for the water was cheaper than what WASA was producing it for… they must check on that, so it was a cheaper way of providing water for the people