Work on the Potaro Road started a few days ago, but they seem to be repairing the road instead of constructing a proper heavy-duty road with an asphalt surface. At present crusher run is being spread on the road, but no roller machine is being used to compact it, and the bricks from the crusher run are scattered all over the road, while around 50 drums of tar are on standby.
Residents advise me that Mr Gordon Bradford, Chairman of Region 7 said that no contract had been awarded to any contractor to construct the Potaro Road and the present repairs are being undertaken by the Ministry of Works. I understand that the reason no contract has been awarded is because of the unsatisfactory work done in September last year.
Editor, I welcome the move by the Ministry of Works to construct the road but I would hope better work would be done than simply patching and repairing, as appears to be the case at present. Last year September bus drivers who operate from the Bartica market to Five miles Potaro commenced strike action over the shoddy condition of the Potaro Road, which was causing tremendous damage to their buses. On September 5, 2012 there was a picket in front of the Regional Democratic Office, involving a number of bus owners, other road users and residents of Bartica who have given their full support. The picket and strike action led to the election of a four-person delegation which was headed by me, and the regional team comprised Mr Naeem Mohammed, Hinterland Engineer; Mr Bradford; and Mr Peter Ramotar, Regional Executive Officer.
There was a written agreement providing for corrective work to commence immediately on the Bartica-Potaro Road from One to Five Miles; the regional team further agreed to maintain the road and not to allow it to go back to its deplorable state, yet at the end of one month the road ended up back at square one, and now the regional leaders appear to have started the same type of patch/repair work on the road.
I am calling on the Ministry of Works to issue a contract for the road to a contractor who lives in Bartica, for example, Mr Baboolal, who is at present constructing a good road in this region and has the equipment for the work. I am confident that he would construct a proper road, because if he failed to do so he would have to answer to the residents of this region.