Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has reportedly assured the Private Sector Commission (PSC) that current repairs to the Linden to Lethem road will be completed by the end of August.
In a press statement, the PSC noted that on Friday, Patterson and a team from his ministry, which included Minister in the Ministry, Annette Ferguson, held wide-ranging discussions with a delegation from the PSC on infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges, airstrips, stellings, sea defences, ports and a deep water harbour.
“The more than two-hour long meeting with the PSC delegation headed by the governance sub-committee chairman Capt. Gerry Gouveia was convened to facilitate the PSC being brought up to date with current and future plans for key aspects of the nation’s infrastructure development, and to identify some issues with which the private sector is concerned,” the statement explained.
These plans include those for the Linden-Lethem road, which has been the subject of widespread complaint during the last rainy season.
The ministry’s team of technicians reportedly explained to the PSC that quarterly maintenance of the road has proven insufficient and that a monthly schedule of maintenance has now been put in place.
“Emergency work has also been undertaken to fix four hinterland roads among those identified by the Forestry Association; seven of 12 roads identified by the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association (GM&SA); and the top four (4) identified by the Diamond Miners Association,” the statement added.
A decision was taken to further discuss a number of options advanced to ensure the ongoing good condition and safety of the Berbice Bridge after a detailed discussion on the issue of the future viability of the Berbice Bridge Company, while the PSC has undertaken to help resolve an issue which threatens the timely completion of work on the East Coast road. The nature of this issue was not revealed.
The statement, however, noted that the PSC delegation raised questions about ongoing work on the current East Coast and the East Berbice sectional roads and the Sheriff/Mandela road project and that there was significant discussion about the East Coast/East Bank bypass to be constructed between Ogle and Diamond.
“A number of questions raised by the PSC were addressed by a team of the ministry’s engineers,” the statement assured, while adding that discussions were also centred around plans for the completion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at Timehri; the construction of the new bridge across the Demerara River; the proposed deep water harbour; maintenance of the sea defences; and completion of the Indian Arrival Monument in East Berbice.
It was further decided that there would be the re-establishment of periodic meetings between the ministry and the infrastructure sub-committee of the PSC to provide for the exchange of information and input from the private sector in the decision making and implementation processes regarding infrastructure development.
“This will begin with the PSC providing the Ministry with regular feedback about the state of airstrips in hinterland communities so as to ensure that these remain in good condition and safe for use by aircraft serving these communities,” the statement explained.
The Minister’s team included Kenneth Jordan (Permanent Secretary); Geoffrey Vaughn (Chief Works Officer), Ron Rahaman (Chief Roads and Bridges Officer), Nigel Erskine (Head, Technical Services), Greg Rickford (Coordinator Hinterland Committee), George Linton (Design Engineer) and Imran Baskh (Design Engineer), while the PSC team included Gerald Gouveia, Edward Boyer, Komal Singh, Deonarine Ramsaroop, Wesley Kirton, Komal Ramnauth, Learie Barclay, Elizabeth Alleyne and Devon Seeram.