Indian High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam, on Wednesday disclosed that a team from Indian Engineering Company, RITES, is expected to arrive in Guyana on July 30 to conduct a feasibility study on the project that would see the construction of a road linking the East Coast of Demerara to the East Bank of Demerara.
Back in 2016, the Government of Guyana signed a Dollar Line Agreement with the
Government of India’ Export Import (EXIM) Bank amounting to US$50 million for the construction of a road that would link the East Coast to the East Bank of Demerara.
According to the High Commissioner, the Project Management Companies – National Highways Authority of India and National Highways (NHAI) and Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHIDCL) – would have initially made submissions but these were deemed too large for the project; hence, they had to resort to other options.
“Those two companies after a very long time since they were Public Sector companies they were not willing to say no in the first instance and they were trying to find some reasons. We realised that they were too big to come for a small project like this. For them it is a small project but for us it is a very important project,” he related.
“We had to go for some other company, one of the other known Public Sector companies called RITES. RITES is a very well-known company that has been doing projects all over the world and had implemented many road projects,” he added.
RITES was founded in 1974 and is a Public Sector company in India. The company boasts high-quality service and a team of capable engineers.
High Commissioner Mahalingam said engineers from RITES are expected to arrive in Guyana by month-end to conduct the feasibility study. Following completion of the study, the engineers will return to India and prepare the detailed project report and work would subsequently begin.
The project, which is expected to be financed through the EXIM Bank of India, is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and will see improvements for commuters and an ease in the traffic congestion on the present roadways. The road is likely to link the communities of Diamond, East Bank Demerara and Ogle, East Coast Demerara.
The loan will cater for the first phase of the major road project that began under the former People’s Progressive Party/Civic Government but which dates back to the early 1970’s.
Current areas of bilateral cooperation between India and Guyana include the establishment of a centre of excellence in Information Technology. The centre will offer training to professionals in the Public Sector in the areas of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in order to develop their competencies. Also, the Indian Government is in the process of procuring an ocean going vessel to ply the Georgetown-Port Kaituma route.