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General News of Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Source: classfmonline.com

We did not inflate cost of borehole project - PURC

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) did not inflate the cost of the borehole project to give money to the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections, Nana Yaa Jantuah, the commission’s Public Relations Officer, has denied.

Her denial follows claims by a former General Secretary of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie that the utilities regulatory body is conniving with the governing NDC to inflate the prices of government projects to help the party finance its campaign.

According to Sir John, as he is popularly known, government’s intention of constructing one borehole at a cost of GHS 60,000 instead of GHS 18,000 is enough evidence that government is corrupt.

“It doesn’t make sense, having spoken to the players in the industry of the cost of drilling a borehole. The price that the PURC is asking government to pay, especially on sole sourcing, to be allowed to drill a single borehole at the cost of GHS60,000 does not make sense as far as people in the industry are concerned,” Sir John, told Class News’ Kwesi Parker-Wilson.

But speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu on Class91.3FM’s 505 news programme on Tuesday November 22, Ms Jantuah said: “I am lost for words because if you talk about borehole, they are a water provision system and there are different kinds of system that are done for different kinds of people, communities, and neighbourhoods. What we are doing is an integrated water system, which includes so many parts.

“We have the submersible pump, not a manual pump. If you are using a manual pump, that one doesn’t use electricity and that is the one that he (Sir John) is talking about. We also have electrical panel that will power this submersible pump. We have a tank, we also have a platform that the tank will be on it, we also have pipes and lines that we put together so that the water that comes out will be able reach certain places where the people cannot walk to fetch the water. So, it is a complete integrated community water system. We even carried out chemical analysis before putting this system into place.

“If you are doing a borehole in your house, whatever comes out of that borehole, it is you alone drinking and using it but if you are going to produce the system for a whole community that is deprived and without good source of drinking water…it will not be an ordinary borehole that we will put in our houses (that would be provided for them). These are boreholes with submersible pump – that is electronic, with pump house. You have to build a pump house because the pump has to be protected; it is not in your home. If it is in your home, nobody is going to steal it.
She added: “This project wasn’t started today, this project was started somewhere in 2007 and we have had incidents where contractors have come and they don’t have the expertise in building this integrated water system. We did sole source because we wanted the right kind of people to do this system and when it is in the community and it breaks down, because the person didn’t do it well, the community will lack water.

“He (Sir John) said we have also inflated figures to give money for the NDC to do campaign. This project is not coming on this year; we just finished the sole-sourcing. Even if we are putting one system in place, do you know how long it will take to complete? So how do we say we have inflated prices to give money to the NDC to do campaign? We are a regulatory institution and nobody should bring us into any political realm. We are an independent regulator and that is what we do.”