Declaring that overweight trucks are chiefly responsible for wreaking havoc on interior roads in Guyana, Government has announced that moves will be made to amend the relevant laws in order to enforce weight limits on the roadways.
In fact, the legislative instrument to enable change of the laws is currently with the
Chamber of the Attorney General for vetting.
Three heavy-duty scales have already been procured, and Government will be moving to have them installed at key locations shortly.
And of the $2.3B allocated to the Public Infrastructure Ministry for use on hinterland roads, some 82 per cent of that fund has been committed to contracts, while a total of 43 per cent of the money committed to contracts having already been disbursed to contractors.
Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson made this announcement on Friday at the beginning of the 67th Sitting of the National Assembly as he responded to People’s Progressive Party Civic Member of Parliament Juan Edghill, who used his privilege to pose a question without notice, querying what measures are being put in place to address the plight of truckers moving goods and providing services to interior locations using roads such as the Linden/Lethem road link, among others.
In presenting an update to the members of the National Assembly, Patterson
elucidated the damage done by overweight trucks traversing the interior roads, and pointed out that the pontoon at the Puruni crossing in Region Seven was only recently damaged by a truck.
He explained that the limit of drums for a truck is 50, but that truck that damaged the pontoon had at the time 130 drums of diesel in its carriage.
“In all interior roads, we do have an issue….an issue of overweight trucks…they have been wreaking havoc on the roads,” Minister Patterson declared.
He also recalled that, during the course of one month, three bridges had been damaged by overweight trucks, requiring that the bridges undergo emergency repairs. Thus he announced, “We do have a solution; it’s a global solution.”
He told members of the National Assembly that the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission and the Guyana Forestry Commission have both signed onto the provisions, and have agreed to adhere to the weight limits when traversing the interior roads.
“We will impose it…we will have better management of the roads,” Minister Patterson committed.
Meanwhile, $150M have already been allocated to not only grade the Linden/Ituni/Kwakwani Road, Minister Patterson told members of the House, but materials have already been purchased for its construction, and these are stockpiled, awaiting a break in the weather.
He indicated that the Ministry will soon begin testing new materials for use on the roads as well. According to the minister, instructions have already been passed on to the Hinterland Unit to start exploring different stabilizing materials.
So far, $100M have been expended on the Linden/Lethem Road; $160M have been earmarked for expenditure, and works are expected to commence in the coming month, when there is a break in the weather.
Minister Patterson was adamant that the administration does in fact recognise the importance of the interior road links. “We do recognize their plight; we do recognize we have to provide a vital service, and we will be doing that,” he told members of the House.