Three contracts valued at a total of $435.5M were signed on Friday for the improvement of 22 roads in Region Four communities under the Community Road Improve-ment Programme (CRIP), the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.
Region Four Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) officials and Courtney Benn contracting Limited and H. Nauth and Sons signed the contracts.
The first contract awarded to Courtney Benn Contracting Services will see 27 roads upgraded and this will involve the clearing, reshaping and realigning of existing road sides drains and the construction of new drains, the rehabilitation of three culverts, the provision of safety features such as signage, road markings and speed humps within the Mon Repos/La Reconnaissance Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).
This project which will directly benefit 35,000 residents will see government spending $167.5M. Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Norman Whittaker in his address told those gathered at the Lusignan Community Centre that “this project is not just about the physical development or transformation of the aesthetics of the community by reason of construction of a number of roads by which all of us in the community and those outside the community who use the roads will benefit, but it is also an opportunity for involvement of the people, more specifically, those responsible for bringing development at the community level in the neighbourhood, which is the NDC.”
The expectation, he said, is that there will be involvement of the people and of the NDC to ensure that what is reflected in the descriptions of the project document is what will be replicated on the ground.
And Minister of Housing and Water, Irfaan Ali in his address said that this is the first time there is an inter-agency approach and collaboration. The Housing and Water Ministry is implementing the hard part of the project (being the construction of the road works), and the Ministry of Local Government is implementing the institutional component of the programme (which is using the resources at hand to develop the personal lives of those in the community), so at the end of the day the gains from the involvement in the capital aspect of the project will be maintained and sustained by the institutional capacity that would have been developed.
He said at the end of the project a maintenance manual will be developed that will be given to the NDCs to be used to train its workers on road maintenance.
With the transformation that would have taken place, residents need to protect the developments by ensuring individuals do not misuse or abuse these investments, which will improve the livelihood and standards of all involved, charged Ali.
Meanwhile, two additional contracts to be executed by H. Nauth and Sons will see a total of 22 roads being rehabilitated and asphalted along with the clearing, reshaping or realigning of existing road sides drains and construction of same where necessary, the rehabilitation of one bridge and one culvert, and the provision of safety features such as signage and speed humps.
Lot A of the project will see 12 roads being rehabilitated and Lot B of the project will see 10 roads being rehabilitated under the Unity/Veereniging NDC.
Together, this will benefit 13,950 residents directly and will see government spending $268M.
Minister Whittaker who was also present at the signing of these contracts at the Mahaica Community Centre said that this is not just about 22 roads being rehabilitated, but rather 22 roads spread across a number of small communities in this NDC being rehabilitated to improve the livelihood and standards of its residents.
Government acquired a US$18.76M loan from the Caribbean Development Bank to rehabilitate community roads located in 12 NDCS in Regions 2,3,4,5 and 6, the release stated.
Towards this end, US$13M will be spent for the rehabilitation of 204 community roads, with the remainder being spent on the rehabilitation and upgrading of the 12 NDC buildings.