India approves US$50M bypass road from Ogle to Eccles
The Government of India has approved the new scope of works for the redesigned bypass road project that would link the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) at Ogle to Haags Bosch in Eccles, on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD).
Back in 2015, the Indian Government had provided a US$50 million Line of Credit (LOC) for the road link that was initially slated for Ogle to Diamond, EBD. However, the project cost was driven up to over $208 million by the previous APNU/AFC regime and the project was at a standstill since 2019.
However, when the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government took office in 2020, it redesigned the project into two phases to fit the LOC – first from Ogle to Haags Bosch road, which is about 48-50 per cent of the project, and then from Haags Bosch to Diamond – in order to fit the US$50 million LOC.
Because of these changes in the scope of the project, additional approvals were required from New Delhi, and after several months, this has been obtained.
This was according to President Dr Irfaan Ali during his inaugural address to the 12th Parliament on Thursday.
“We’ve been able, in just six months, to bring forward the approval of the new four-lane highway from Ogle to Eccles, funded by the Indian Government, by almost one year. Today we received the news that all of the approval has been given in India, and we are moving to the procurement stage. This is a project that was delayed for almost seven years. Today, we are on the journey of accomplishing this and bringing relief to the people of Guyana,” the President stated.
Previously, Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Dr K.J. Srinivasa, had told <<Guyana Times>> that once approval is given for the new scope of works, the processes of Requests for Proposals and tendering would commence.
The bypass road will create a new highway in the backlands, thus allowing for an alternative route to the country’s two main thoroughfares.
This project will see a total of 26 kilometres of road being constructed with links to connect key communities in Georgetown and along the East Bank of Demerara. These include Diamond, Mocha and Eccles, all on the East Bank; and Aubrey Barker Road in Georgetown. These connections will prove crucial in diverting traffic.
In addition to the two-phase road from Ogle to Diamond, the Guyana Government is also looking to further extend the road to Timehri to provide an alternative access to the country’s main airport, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
Previously asked whether the Indian Government would also fund this third phase of the bypass road project, High Commissioner Srinivasa had said, “These are things which are still under conversation between the two countries…”
Meanwhile, Government has undertaken several new road projects along the EBD corridor to ease the heavy traffic congestion.
Currently, works are ongoing for another alternative road connecting Diamond and Eccles on the EBD corridor in order to ease the traffic congestion. The new alternative road will run from Sixth Avenue, Diamond to the Windsor Estate Road that leads on to the Eccles Landfill Site Road. This will form a connection through the new Herstelling Housing Scheme and other schemes that are being developed along the EBD corridor. The project is slated to be completed by April 2021.
Additionally, a second road is being constructed between Eccles and Mandela Avenue, which will be completed later this year in November.
Last month, President Ali had explained that these projects are all part of the Government’s drive to transform Guyana’s infrastructure and link communities.
“[This] is part of urban planning too. And we’re also working with the Police to ensure that we have security measures, lighting, Police presence and everything. Not only to have infrastructure, but to make sure it is safe,” the Head of State had noted.