By Amar Panday.
For the residents of the expansive Tuschen housing scheme, life has indeed been made uncomfortable by a network of deplorable and unpardonable roads.
Kaieteur News yesterday visited Tuschen, at the residents’ request, to do its own investigation and was confounded by the level of decrepitude characterizing the road network.
Residents, who spoke to Kaieteur News on conditions of anonymity, said that before investing in Phase 2 of the Tuschen housing project which is currently under way, an endeavour should have been made to equip Phase 1 with the acceptance level of infrastructural development.
Residents said that they would be willing to give of their manpower if the requisite authority demonstrated a willingness to have this road network bettered.
A businessman, whose premises Kaieteur News visited, complained that because of the discomfiture associated with driving in this scheme, the level of traffic frequenting the roadways is always low. This, he said, is discouraging for business.
He pointed to a woeful stretch of road immediately in front of his Store and explained that because of this situation, traffic is invariably diverted from an access road to his business.
He explained that this road, which is the scheme’s second main road, was recently repaired in September by Eagle Transportation and General Construction. From September to December, this road swiftly disintegrated to a state where the repairs are hardly recognizable.
Mike Rambharose, the Manager of Eagle Transportation and General Construction, attributed this early disintegration to the fact that the construction company was only contracted to do cosmetic repairs and not any serious refurbishment.
He said that heavy vehicular traffic is a contributory factor in the road’s quick breakup.
However, Forbes Lanferman, a taxi driver who has only begun traversing the Tuschen road network in recent weeks, explained to Kaietuer News that he has already had to change his steering end and a tyre. He said that it is mentally challenging and tiring to drive in this network as you are constantly navigating out and around some more or less yawning pothole.
Lanferman, who is a cane harvester, who operates a taxi during Guysuco’s out of season, said this additional venture, to supplement a meager income has certainly proved taxing.
He said it was his belief that contractors who deliver such shoddy work as done in Tuschen’s second main road, do not meet the specifications enshrined in the contract, yet, in a procedure of rampant corruption, such works are not held accountable.
This layman was able to suggest that until this accountability is featured in the delivery of infrastructural development, such substandard work would be the order of the day.
Other taxi drivers who spoke with Kaieteur News said that along with the compulsory expenses associated with their service— license, fitness and insurance— the monthly maintenance bill they have to foot by working in this area is oppressive. Shawn Munish explained that the average monthly maintenance bill is $30,000.
William Wong, another taxi driver, was able to explain the salience of regular maintenance work to the
viability of a road network. He recollected that there used to be maintenance crews attached to the Ministry whose duty it was to do regular repairs.
He explained the sagacity of such a practice, as against allowing a road to completely disintegrate and then endeavoring to rehabilitate. Wong, a driver with not much formal schooling, conversed with Kaieteur News about the cost effectiveness of such practice. He submitted that the work of maintenance crews is indispensable to the preservation of roads. He said that the disappearance of such valuable conventions has not augured well for the maintenance of standards in public affairs.
A laudable housing project by the administration must be accompanied by a simultaneous effort to have the accompanying infrastructural development enhance and enable the ensuing habitation of that specified location.
To have the accompanying infrastructure lag the proliferation of housing projects is to diminish the quality of life possible in such areas.
Moreover, since the financing of such infrastructural development is sourced from the public coffers, it is indispensable that stringent standards of accountability and transparency be established and maintained to ensure that an already burdensome tax burden on the Guyanese populace is not exacerbated by costly leakages.
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