City struggles to upgrade water service; Feds seize illegal beer at restaurants, stores; 276 political parties are approved; Lasso promises new highways

May 26, 2022 | 1 comment

Miércoles, 25/5/2022

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Dawi: paisajes y fragmentaciones nacen del pincel (Dawi: landscapes and fragmentations born from the brush) – The formal opening of Ariel Dawi’s new exhibit at the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno (MMAM – calles Sucre y Coronel Talbot) will be este viernes a las 19.00. Museum hours are lunes a viernes from 9-16:45, and weekends from 9.14:00.

Un día para analizar la gesta libertaria de 1822 (A day to analyze the libertarian deed of 1822) – There will be a day of history celebrating the Batalla de Pichincha in the Teatro Sucre Thursday. The morning session willl be from 9-12:30 with Juan Cordero Iñiguez who will cover the presence of Sucre in Cuenca, Manuel Carrasco who will talk about the independence situation in the Cuenca area between 1809 & 1822, and 3 other speakers. In the afternoon from 15-17:00, there will be 3 presentations followed by a debate on the topics discussed at 17:05. If you are interested, just go to the theater or follow it on Facebook Live page of the Cátedra Abierta de Historia de Cuenca y su Región.

A new report by the national comptroller’s office reports inconsistencies in five tram contracts signed between 2017 and 2021 with a total value of $48 million.

Monólogo de “La Alex” – The artist, “La Alex,” will present her monologue, “Madre solo hay una” el 31/5 & 1/6 a las 19:00 in the Sala “Alfonso Carrasco” in the Casa de la Cultura Núcleo de Azuay (Luis Cordero 7-22). Tickets sold on the day of the event – $15.00.

UPS reopened its office of Núcleo de Apoyo Contable y Fiscal (Accounting and Tax Support Center) which provides tax assistance to natural persons not required to keep accounting records and to micro-businesses. Hours are lunes a viernes from 13:00-18:00 at av. Loja y calle Lorenzo Piedra.

Titular –

Lasso ofrece autopista (Lasso offers highway) – In his speech about his first year in office, President Guillermo Lasso said his Government has identified over $5.2 billion in investments in road infrastructure for the next 3 years. This will include 2 autopistas (highways/freeways – your word for the day) which will connect Cuenca with Guayaquil and Quito with Guayaquil. Ministro de Transporte y Obras Públicas, Marcelo Cabrera, explained that studies for the vía Cuenca-Guayaquil are advancing with alternative routes being considered. These will be defined by the end of the year. Other local roads to be funded include Cuenca-Molleturo-Naranjal and Descanso-Gualaceo-Paute. See Wednesday’s CHL for the complete story.

Cuenca –

El servicio de agua potable se regulará (Drinking water service will be adjusted) – The intense rains on 21, 22 y 23/5 have partially affected the water systems of ETAPA and the Nero system, with some sectors to the north of Cuenca without water. Josué Larriva, submanager of Agua y Sanamiento said that the biggest problem was in Nulti where a landslide across the access road also damaged the intake and discharge lines of the main water storage tank and the distribution line. Repairs were made el lunes, but service will be delayed to some areas due to water pressure. Zones such as Colinas de Challuabamba and La Cofradía have been getting service intermittently. Larriva also said that the long winter has affected water service in sectors such as Turi where a 400 mm. distribution line was affected by land movement. Residents got water in the parque El Paraíso from tankers as part of the contingency plan. <Can you imagine trying to get on, ride on, and get off a bus with a tub of water?>

Other areas had water shutoffs, such as av. Loja where a main line is being changed prior to repaving the street. <Finally! A utility company talking to the city and scheduling the work so the line replacement doesn’t involve digging up brand new paving. Ask anybody who lived in the East Bay about EBMUD which was famous for following road improvement projects with water line projects and then just throwing asphalt in the trench and letting the traffic compact the patch.> There is a similar situation in ciudadela Calderón with the construction of the Las Américas interchange. Pipes which had been relocated were damaged by excavation work.

At the Nero system, a land slide el lunes a las 7:00 at Talanguera de Turi destroyed a pipeline leaving the Ictocruz reservoir without water, affecting thousands of families. Luis Quinde, president of the system, said repairs started that day, but couldn’t finish due to rain and hail. He expected to restore service to the lower areas today and to all areas in 3 days since all the reservoirs were dry. Until then, tankers have been rented to distribute water to higher zones such as San Pedro de Gaguanchi, Tierras Coloradas, Trinidad, Bellavista and part of Punta Corral.

Contraloría revela perjuicio para el municipio (Comptroller’s Office reveals damage to the municipality) – A new report from the Contraloría General del Estado (CGE) revealed inconsistencies in 5 contracts signed between 1/1/2017 and 31/5/2021 with a total value of $47,752,317.17 to build the Tranvía. The first was the Culminación de la Construcción del Patio Taller, Preparación de la Plataforma Viaria e Implementación de Sistema Tecnológicos para Soporte del Sistema Tranviario (Completion of the Construction of the Workshop Yard, Preparation of the Road Platform and Implementation of Technological Systems to Support the Tramway System) for an amount of $29,450,850.61.

The report concluded that timely and adequate actions were not taken to ensure full compliance with contractual obligations. For example, timely notification of fines <liquidated damages?> was not made causing the contractor to pay them late. Other contacts had to do with Management and Outside Audits of the Processes for Providing, Installing, and Assisting in Putting the System in Service, and Constructing the Main Line of the Tranvía for an amount of $699,945.82, and a Supplemental Contract for Management and Outside Audits of the Processes of Providing, Installing, and Assisting in Putting the System in Service, and Constructing the Main Line of the Tranvía for an amount of $3,664,141.69. The last two contacts had to do with Services and Studies and Technical Assistance in the Commercial Operation of the Line for an amount of $1,598,517; and for Provision, Installation, and Assistance in Placing the Tranvia into Service for $2,359,655.56, $4,739,366.06 and $5,239,839.89.

The performance bond for the 2nd contract was not executed, and a bond costing $2,890,000 guaranteeing that the system was working properly was never delivered to the city. <My question is was the city billed for the bond and did it pay the bill?> A technical guarantee from the contractor as required by the contract was not verified, nor was the term and period of guaranty reviewed. Therefore the city was left unprotected against eventualities covered in the garantee and which should be solved by the manufacturer. <Carelessness or corruption?>

ARCSA advierte sobre cerveza de contrabando (ARCSA warns about smuggled beer) – In recent controls, ARCSA found stores, restaurants, etc. selling beer without the Ecuadorian sanitary seal. Police took the products in order to investigate their provenance. <Some guy in a barn with cow troughs full of bootleg beer, a bunch of empty bottles, and good copier/printer?> ARCSA said it has increased its controls with representatives from the Servicio Nacional de Aduana del Ecuador (Customs). In just the last week, ARCSA has identified 128 irregular products between cigarettes and beers which were probably brought in from Perú and Colombia. <So if your beer tastes like cow piss, report it with the Arcsa Móvil app.>

Region –

Paute innova técnicas ganaderas (Paute innovates livestock farming techniques) – A project in Guaraynag paish in Paute is seeking to improve the quality and quantity of milk by transferring embryos from cows producing more than 35 liters of milk per day to other cows. The calves born will have a higher genetic quality. The project started in 10/21 when 10 cows were selected to be surrogate mothers. <The picture shows a rancher and a vet with a squirt bottle holding onto a cow. In the picture, they’re working on the wrong end of the cow. Or there’s a sedative in the bottle.>

Nacional –

Con 276 partidos aprobados, Ecuador irá a elecciones (With 276 parties approved, Ecuador will go to elections) – The Registro de Partidos y Movimientos for the 2023 midterm elections has been closed. The organizations that complied with the legal requirements to participate include 6 national parties; 11 national, 67 provincial, 173 cantonal, and 19 parish movements. <So if you vote, it seems like you’ll have plenty of options and candidates to choose from.>

And that’s all for today so Hasta ? –

Jeanne

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