Nov 23, 2016 News
As the controversial East Bank Berbice Road makes its entrance into the public’s domain once again, the Regional Vice Chairman Mr. Dennis Deroop, during a brief interview with media operatives expressed his dissatisfaction with recent developments.
According to Deroop, the road is in the worst state ever, with residents planning a protest after hearing that the road will not be done as promised but rather “re-patched”.
Deroop highlighted that the current government had promised the people on the East Bank that works would be started to rehabilitate the entire road within the first six months in office but “there is no concrete evidence to have a brand new road for the people on the East Bank, nothing up to now”.
Residents who were all set to stage a protest in dissatisfaction that nothing has commenced were met by the Regional Executive Officer, Kim Stephens, where she indicated to the angry residents that the region will be spending $5.2M on some temporary work on the road to alleviate the difficulties faced until the entire road is done.
This did not sit well with the residents.
Deroop argued, “This money cannot do much. In my view this is a cover-up to fool the people; it’s a delaying tactic”.
He is calling on the government to deliver on its promises.
It was also disclosed that some $60M is being spent to slash the Corentyne Highway to rid it from the “unwanted grass”.
“That money could have gone to the East Bank…They also doing a bridge at Number 51/52 that cost $100M. That bridge could have gone two to three years more and the money diverted to the East Bank,” Deroop stressed.
As it stands, the road has gone to a stage where it makes it close to impossible to traverse when the monsoon comes around, with holes described “the size of craters”.
The Vice Chairman lamented that the residents are very aggravated after the decision was made to do “patch work” and not start redoing the entire road stretching from Islington-Providence.
This, he stated, was promised to be done before the year was completed but it was pointed out that that is unlikely.
Deroop, who is also chairman of the Works Committee mentioned that the money which was used to do the minor “patch work” was taken from the savings of capital expenditure.
“This is a breach of budget principles and I will be seeking legal advice on it”.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the East Bank Hire Car Association, Maxwell Semple, said, “we have been suffering for a very long time with only patches and patches, it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. Patching two to three times a year is bearing no fruit; new government, same system”.
According to a source, the Inter American Development Bank which was expected to fund the project will no longer be doing so.
Residents are expected to take to the streets today to show their disapproval.
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