Just over a week after Guyana Times published an article in which residents of Leguan were calling for their stelling to be rehabilitated, the Public Infrastructure Ministry has announced that the stelling was on the list for pending rehabilitative works.
This revelation was made by Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson on Wednesday, who noted that tenders were produced for the refurbishing works and would be out shortly. At that time, Patterson also took the opportunity to announce the completion of works on the Leguan Stelling.
“We’ve awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of the sea defence in Leguan and Wakenaam as well as the stelling in Leguan, the tenders are out and shall be completed shortly. The Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling will commence rehabilitation in 2019, which will provide a revamped passenger port, focusing on safety in operations,” he stated.
Last Saturday, this publication visited Leguan where residents were up in arms about the current state of their stelling among other concerns.
Residents and even visitors had expressed their dissatisfaction with the state of the stelling. The timber planks supporting the stelling are rotten, causing residents to be fearful since heavy vehicles traverse the stelling. In addition, the decking is loose and uneven, with rails hanging on to literally nothing at certain sections on the ramp.
At that time, an outspoken resident, Hans Buer, had indicated that the issue was raised with Minister Patterson on several occasions, which resulted in the Minister responding to him on social media promising to have it fixed. He said the stelling has been in that deplorable state for over one and a half years and was rapidly deteriorating, but no system was being put in place to have it addressed.
The residents also indicated that a concrete-post and wood-decking stelling served no purpose; hence, they were calling for a fully concrete stelling, noting that it would last longer with little to no repairs.
“Laden vehicles cannot use the lower ramp because it will fall out. The decking is unlevelled. You can fall. When the boat come in at nights, it is horrible, because the stelling has no lights, passengers fall over the little rails and some of the boards on the decking have holes,” Buer noted.
Guyana Times was also told that in addition to loose decking and rotten posts, the lower ramp used to load laden vehicles onto the ferry was in such a deplorable state that vehicles were unable to access it. Vehicles have to wait until the tide is high enough for them to access the high ramp to load or offload, which affects the business community, since critical goods could not be delivered in time and farmers’ produce would perish.