After a rocky year of technical issues, authorities have confirmed that the Moleson Creek ferry service will be out of commission for a week early in the new year to facilitate repairs.
Yesterday, Terminal Manager of the Canawaima Ferry Service Inc., Deyne Harry, disclosed that the MV Canawaima which is being operated jointly by Guyana and Suriname will be out of service between January 6-14, 2018, for an emergency docking.
Works are to be done during the week to restore the two engines.
In April too, another docking is scheduled.
The ferry was forced to use a tug, causing delays and discomfort for passengers and drivers in the past months.
The service has been struggling with the management forced to cancel some days and reduce its number of crossings from two daily to one.
The year altogether has not been good for the service.
According to Harry, who was speaking during the end-of-year press conference of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, passenger traffic to date has decreased by 11 percent in 2017 over that of 2016.
Similarly, vehicular traffic to date has also decreased by four percent.
Harry explained that the decision to operate trips across the Corentyne River, according to traffic demands, has proven to be more cost-effective. Prior to this arrangement, the service has been reporting losses.
He said that the M.V Canawaima continues to experience extensive mechanical challenges that prompted the hire of a tug to assist in the propulsion of the vessel. This sometimes resulted in slight delays.
Because of the ferry’s problems, revenues fell to $118M compared to $128M last year.
Passengers crossing one way are more than 50,000, according to official figures.
During the past year, the sign at Moleson Creek ferry service entrance was fixed, with expansion and renovations done to the terminal buildings and manager’s quarters.
Additionally, more wall fans were installed in the passengers’ Arrival and Departure areas.
In the coming year, the service is projecting a traffic increase by two percent with the installation of body and baggage scanners and the installation of perimeter lights along the access road.
The floating ramp will also be replaced with the website of the service also established.
The Canawaima ferry service was established since 1998 to connect travelers en route from Moleson creek – 10km south of Corriverton- to the south drain in Suriname. It is the only legal marine travel connection between the two countries.
Significant trade is being conducted between the two countries, with an illegal crossing at Springlands, Corentyne, accounting for thousands traversing the river.
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