A comment by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves amid the flare up at the container port which is affecting commerce has raised the question of the possibility of heads rolling as a result.
The problems, which the port experienced from time to time, escalated recently at a time when it is extremely busy with barrels for Christmas and other items for trade.
“But, clearly, you know me well enough to know that, and there are things I cannot say, that I have raised already certain questions in relation to management, with management at the level of the board, the chief executive officer,” Prime Minister Gonsalves said on Sunday as he commented on the matter in a call to the Issue at Hand on WE FM.
The crane down since February 24th, 2020, and a report was sent to the SVG Port Authority’s Chief Executive Officer Bishen John.
Information also indicate that the situation came to a head last week when two vessels with containers arrived and each had problems with one of their cranes. As a result, the onboard cranes that were functioning could not reach the location of the containers for this country.
Information also say that one vessel went to the Virgin Islands and had the containers transferred and the other vessel went to St Lucia for repositioning of the containers to facilitate access.
Prime Minister Gonsalves recently addressed the issue of quality delivery of goods and services following the recent escape from prison by two prisoners accused of murder. One of the prisoners, Veron Primus, had escaped for the second time in just over a year.
The recent escape, which attracted all sorts of criticisms and allegations, resulted in the Superintendent of Prisons going home on what was said to be “early retirement.”
“If you’re delivering prison services, you have to deliver the services in a manner – those who’re involved, those whose noses are close to the grindstone – you have to deliver them in the best possible manner. You can’t organize yourself in a way that a man escape twice like that,” PrimeMinister Gonsalves said then.
The SVG Port Authority’s CEO Bishen John told ANN this week that the equipment that failed were not the port’s. He said two vessels saw a breakdown with their crane during the past week.
“They were unable to offload all the containers and aborted operations. One vessel took a decision to go to its homeport and transfer the containers to another vessel.
“The majority of these container were returned on Sunday 20th December,” John said.
John said the remainder of the barrels would be back today, Wednesday.
“The second vessel would have collaborated with the SVGPA and asked for input, the SVGPA was able to negotiate with the St. Lucian Air and Sea Port Authority and it was agreed to have the vessel go to St. Lucia for transfer of containers.
All these containers were retuned and offload in SVG with 24 hours,” the SVG Port Authority’s CEO said.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the crane problem is exacerbated by the breakdown of forklifts which have to be repaired on a daily basis and the breakdown of reach stackers.
It is understood that the stackers malfunctioned recently and were repaired but broke down again.