Opposition Leader Julian Fraser has chastised the government for underfunding repairs to a sewerage treatment plant in the Third District where he serves as the elected representative.
“It is something that bothers me and it should bother everyone who knows about it and people who don’t know about it should hear about it,“ Fraser said while speaking in the House of Assembly (HOA) recently.
Fraser was at the time addressing monies assigned by the government to the Burt Point sewerage treatment plant in a $31 million Schedule of Additional Provisions (SAP) that passed in the HOA.
He explained that the plant, which treats all municipal sewerage in Tortola, except for Cane Garden Bay, has been down since the September 2017 hurricanes.
“I was told that the cost to repair the plant is $2.5 million – six years ago … So it’s before this government’s time, yes. But I can’t let this government off the hook,” Fraser said.
“It’s $2.5 million that the plant needs to get repaired but they put $300,000 in the budget,” Fraser complained.
But Fraser noted that the government seemingly acknowledged their error and added another $1 million to the subvention.
“So now they come to June, in this supplementary, and realise that well, that $300,000 couldn’t do anything, not even solicit contractors’ engagement so they’re now putting in another million dollars in the supplementary towards repairs of the plant,” he added.
They campaigned and won on a promise
In the meantime, Fraser argued that the government ran for office on a promise to the people of the Third District that they would have the sewerage treatment plant up and running.
“All of them. That’s how they got elected. They did very well in the Third [District],“ Fraser stated.
Fraser said the subject minister promised earlier in 2022 that by the end of the year he was hoping that repairs would be completed or started.
The Third District Representative, however, expressed that $1.3 million was not the equivalent of the $2.5 million needed for the repairs to the plant.
“The plant needs $2.5 million to get up and running and the people of this territory should be enraged to know that the sewerage that is being generated is being dumped in the waters right out there off Slaney and we could do better,” he said.
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