Takutu Bridge to open Friday
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced that effective from Friday the Takutu River Bridge at the Guyana/Brazil border will be opened for the movement of vehicular traffic, passengers and cargo between 08:00 hours and 17:00 hours.
The Ministry advised, yesterday, that the ferry service currently in use at the crossing will cease to be in operation during those hours.
“All persons entering and leaving Guyana by way of the Takutu River Bridge are asked to note that all processing and relevant checks will be done at the Multipurpose Complex located at Lethem.”
According to the Ministry, the commissioning ceremony of the Takutu River Bridge by President Bharrat Jagdeo and President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be announced at a later date.
Minister of Foreign Affairs International Cooperation and Trade, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett recently had cause to debunk claims that the Takutu Bridge has been officially commissioned and open for business.
At that time she reported to media operatives that on the afternoon of April 24, last, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received information through the Brazilian Embassy in Georgetown that “the Civil Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Brazil is taking steps in order to allow the provisional settlement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the
Local officials were baffled by what was an unofficial official opening of the Takutu Bridge when officials from the Brazilian town of Bom Fin and the State of Roraima were on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, which took place on the bridge itself, minus representatives from the Guyana Government and the Region Nine Administration.
At that time the flags of both Guyana and Brazil were hoisted on the bridge and a Brazilian military band, which gave the impression that the ceremony was official, played both countries’ national anthems.
Originally, the commissioning of the bridge was scheduled for April 27, but due to logistical problems on the Guyana side this deadline was not met.
Rodrigues-Birkett had explained that she was advised that the Government of Brazil had gazetted Bom Fin as a Port of Entry and that probably triggered the celebration.