The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment says that it has received numerous complaints from the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) that persons are being charged a toll when traversing through Linden en route to the interior locations and says this matter will be pursued.
“The Ministry is aware of the toll charged at the Wismar-McKenzie Bridge and has not been notified of any other toll booth being established in any other location,” the ministry said in a statement.
It said that a letter was written to the Ministry of Public Works and Communications and the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development for guidance and clarification on this matter.
“In the light of the current decline in gold prices being experienced in the mining industry, the GGDMA is of the opinion that the charge of additional tolls is seen as unnecessary at this point in time. The mining industry has been trying assiduously to reduce its expenditures in order to remain viable and the levying of toll charges serves to negate their efforts,” the ministry said while adding that it will continue to pursue this matter.
Last week, the Ministry of Local Government and the Linden Interim Management Committee (IMC) were in a standoff after the Minister in the Ministry of Local Government Norman Whittaker said that the Kara Kara toll booth must stop functioning with immediate effect.
The IMC had imposed a toll to raise revenue for an increase in workers’ wages. Chairman of the Linden IMC Orin Gordon subsequently said that the IMC will not terminate the operation of the toll booth.