Tender called to engage consultant to oversee Lautoka swimming pool project while Kumar calls for completion

Tender called to engage consultant to oversee Lautoka swimming pool project while Kumar calls for completion

By Rashika Kumar , Cindy Chand
Wednesday 17/04/2024
Source : Parliament of the Republic of Fiji

Minister for Local Government, Maciu Nalumisa confirms the Lautoka City Council has called a tender to engage a lead consultant to oversee the Lautoka swimming pool project management and construction works and says the coalition government is committed to completing the Lautoka swimming pool and Govind Park. While contributing towards the debate on the Ministry of Local Government Annual Report 2018–2019, Nalumisa says upon finalisation of this, the tender for the contractor will be called.

Nalumisa says they are going to rescope the project before finalising the details.

He says weak project monitoring and supervision over the past years contributed to poor supervision and monitoring of some key municipal council projects like the Lautoka swimming pool, Govind Park in Ba and Ratu Sukuna Park in Suva.

He further says the first phase of the Govind Park project has been completed and the tender for the contractor to undertake civil works for phase 2 was advertised last December, and hopefully, the tender should be finalised soon and construction work will begin before this financial year ends.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica says the selected contractor was not qualified to build the swimming pool and there is only one contractor in Fiji who is qualified to build it and he has heard this from the qualified contractor.

Kamikamica says he heard that the swimming pool was not even to the correct measurement and was short by about 10 centimetres and that is why the rectification is taking place.

Opposition MP Premila Kumar says they hear there is mismanagement and wrongdoing but if there is mismanagement and wrongdoing, then she challenges the government to conduct the investigation, produce the report, file the complaints with FICAC and not to just come in Parliament and say things.

Kumar says the pool was part of developing Lautoka into a sporting city and initially, for the pool, the plan was to build a community swimming pool and then it was changed to an aquatic centre of Olympic standards so of course, the cost will go up and did go up.

She says now when the dispute did arise, it was decided that the Ministry of Local Government and Lautoka City Council should not be involved because it was government funding and therefore the Construction Implementation Unit stepped in.

FijiFirst PM Rinesh Sharma says in the 2023/2024 national budget, the coalition government set aside $4.5 million for the completion of the pool and it seems that the coalition government has allocated $4.5 million to put soil in the pool, by downsizing it for domestic use only.

While responding to Sharma’s comments about demolishing parts of the project, Nalumisa says he does not know where he got his information from and needs to verify it.

He says they are rescoping the project following which, the details will be finalised.

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