Another $100M for asphalting road along East Bank Berbice

…contractor warned of consequences if yearend deadline not reached

President Dr Irfaan Ali on Friday announced that Government will invest $100 million to construct six kilometres of asphalt road in Mara, East Bank Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
The Head of State made the disclosure during a meeting with residents at the Schepmoed Primary School.
The announcement came after residents had voiced their disappointment over the slothfulness of current road work.

The current road work along Upper East Bank Berbice

Two contractors had been selected to develop and resurface two sections of the roadway to the easternmost end of the region. While one contractor has completed his section almost one month ahead of the scheduled December 29 deadline, the other contractor is lagging behind.
Residents informed the President that the contractor only worked for the past three days in this month.
Visibly upset with the news as the residents have repeatedly complained of the poor state of the road, President Ali explained that a penalty will be imposed if work is not finished before the scheduled deadline.
He also instructed that the project engineer who resides in Georgetown spend more time at the worksite.
“They have to get a house for you here and you have to work night and day to ensure that this project finishes on time. The Government is providing the resources and it is contractors like you that are giving the Government a bad name,” the President said.
He also expressed his disappointment to Minister within the Public Works Ministry Deodat Indar after an engineer attached to the Sea Defence Board had made promises to residents to assist them with tubes to assist with draining water off of their farm land.
“Where are the tubes,” he asked and the engineer could provide no answer.
It was later revealed that the promises were made without any consultation with the Public Works Ministry. According to President Ali, the Minister should be aware of what is going on in his Ministry.
“If you were on the ground, you would know that these people were promised the tubes months ago and we have not even budgeted for them,” the visibly upset Head of State told the Minister.
He added that other Government officials who make promises to communities without any basis will have to pay for whatever they promised from their salaries.
After making the announcement of the $100 million, President Ali said systems will soon be in place to start the process.
The road would help ease the movement of people and food products from the farming community. According to the Head of State, “the Ministry has already started to move the machinery to this area, and we are going to start the procurement process. Next year after we complete that, we will do a further assessment”.
The announcement of the road was immediately welcomed by residents. They explained that it takes about three hours to get their produce to New Amsterdam and that the six-kilometre asphalt road would significantly lessen that time.
The President was accompanied by Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh, and Indar.
The visit by President Ali made it the third Head of State to have visited that community following Dr Chaddi Jagan and Bharrat Jagdeo.