It is with great antagonism and disbelief that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure seeks to respond to a paid advertisement published in the Kaieteur News Edition on Tuesday, October 15, 2019, with the headline, “Linden/Lethem Road or…”
The author of the article began by saying, “Guyana should be first and foremost for Guyanese. After all, charity begins at home.” So then, may we ask, aren’t thousands of Guyanese living in Linden and Lethem?
While some may be against the construction of the Linden to Lethem road, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is adamant that this road will continue to foster development within the hinterland regions, reduce transportation cost, boost tourism, create employment and provide ease of access to one of the first world neighbouring country, Brazil. There is a saying, only who feels it knows it, and we are well aware of how the hinterland Guyanese citizens had been neglected for decades and as a Ministry, we are resolute to reverse that. Of which, the beneficiaries of the project are more than aesthetic to see come to fruition. Yes! We know the naysayers will condemn progress when it is being manifested right before their eyes.
Further, the article went on to say, “Instead of fixing the dilapidated infrastructure and improving the national transportation network to make life better for the ordinary citizens, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is taking taxpayers’ monies to create a corridor to Lethem…” It is evident that the writer of this advertisement deems the city -Georgetown- as the only place ORDINARY CITIZENS live. Editor, please permit us to enlighten the author that ALL Guyanese are important and we are committed to transforming the infrastructural landscape of this Nation, whether you are living in the rural or urban areas.
Yes! It is a fact that Chinese businesses are being opened throughout the length and breadth of this nation, not only in Lethem, and this is called globalisation. This is evident all around the world and as a developing country, we must accept this sooner or later, especially as we venture in the oil and gas sector.
Additionally, may we remind the author, that the Linden to Lethem Road Project will be funded by a grant from the United Kingdom, supported by a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. The evidence of this pushes us to ask the question; if the foreign counterparts can envisage the importance and necessity of this Project, why is it our local citizens cannot embrace this development?
Another important point to note is that the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is currently on the verge of building a new road to ease traffic congestion, one of the sore points highlighted by the author in his/her advertisement.
The new road, from Ogle to Diamond will serve to significantly reduce traffic along the sole East Bank Demerara corridor. Moreover, a road is currently being constructed on the East Coast of Demerara to boost commuters’ experience and reduce traffic congestion in our rapidly expanding economy. Just a few months ago, a new highway was commissioned on the West Coast of Demerara as well with the said goal. It therefore poses the question; what more can possibly be done to improve the lives of those living on the coastlands? Also, is development only limited to the coastal regions? Are our Hinterland brothers and sisters not equally important? It must be noted that we cannot allow the fear of “Chinese investors” to deter us from bridging the gap between the Hinterland and Coastal region.
Senior Public Relations Officer
Ministry of Public Infrastructure
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