East Bank Berbice Road will not be fixed this year – Chairman

first_img… Region disappointed with failed promise from GovtRehabilitation works on the East Bank Berbice main access road will not happen this year, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) Chairman David Armogan has said.A section of the deplorable roadAddressing the issue late last week, Armogan told reporters that the Public Infrastructure Ministry despite committing to the project was now saying that it was unable to execute the works.“I have been making many calls over the past couple of weeks to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and I discussed it twice with Minister Ferguson, who is the Junior Minister in the Ministry and she got one of her assistants to call me back on Wednesday to say that the matter is still uncompleted between the [Inter-American Development Bank] IDB and the Ministry and so it is likely to take some time and so I enquired from the person whether it is likely to be completed before the end of the year and the person said to me, ‘that is not likely to happen’.”An ambulance and Canter manoeuvring on the appalling roadHe explained that David Patterson, who is the senior Minister in the Public Infrastructure Ministry, had previously indicated that work on the road would have commenced a month ago.The project, which will see a total rehabilitation and resurfacing of the section of the road from Marks Bridge to Everton, East Bank Berbice went to tender.According to the Regional Chairman, as a result of the promises made by Minister Patterson, the local administration did not undertake any rehabilitation works on the East Bank Berbice road and as such, the road was now left in a deplorable state.“As far as we know, the IDB money has already been processed, but it is now a question of which contractor should get the job… So what we are doing at the regional level is that we have some savings from other projects like bridges and so, and so I have asked the [Regional Executive Officer] REO to look at it to see if we can get a $5 million or $6 million; but that is nothing when you consider the condition of that road. The road is in an extremely bad shape,” Armogan noted.Residents along the affected area have in the past voiced their concerns over the state of the road and held numerous protests hoping to get the attention of officials. They claimed that the Public Infrastructure Ministry has been ignoring them.Minister Patterson, in his capacity as A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) campaign manager leading up to the May 2015 Regional and General Elections, had held a meeting at Edinburgh and told residents that the then Administration had neglected them.Back then, he said should the APNU/AFC coalition win the elections, repair work to the East Bank Road would be a number one priority.Vehicle operators plying the East Bank Berbice route have upped their fares because of the damage caused to their vehicles by the road.Armogan told reporters if the REO provided funds from savings generated at the regional level, they would be used to improve the current state of the road.“I even asked Public Infrastructure Ministry if they can do some remedial work in the meantime until they have this big award of about US$7-8 million to do the road, but I am told that it is not possible at this time. So until the matter of who will be awarded the contract, we at the regional level will see what we can do to get some remedial work done.”The Regional Chairman said he was disappointed over the situation where the regional administration was being forced to do the East Bank Berbice road. “I am calling on the Government and the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to speed up the process with the IDB, so that this work can start as early as possible,” Armogan said. (Andrew Carmichael)last_img

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