With $34.4 billion budgeted for the Public Works Ministry for 2020, the new People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) administration plans to complete a number of transformational projects that were left stagnant by the previous A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) government.
Public Works Minister, Juan Edghill during his 2020 budget speech told the National Assembly that APNU+AFC were mere custodians of the projects, to ensure that they were implemented expeditiously and efficiently within their budgeted amounts, but due to their negligence, Edghill said, the new government is now left with the task to ensure that the projects are completed with the utmost speed and diligence.
One of the main projects, the Public Works Minister pointed to was the extension of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA). APNU+AFC, Minister Edghill explained, restructured the project to deliver a “half-baked, partially rehabilitated facility” instead of the brand new airport for which their administration had negotiated and contracted.
“This facility,” he added, “would have been able to land A380 Airbuses and would have had eight boarding bridges as well as new arrival and departure terminals.”
After five years, he claimed, and a host of substandard works being done, the PPP/C was however forced to make provision in this year’s budget to finance several critical interventions necessary to make the airport functional.
Roads and bridges
Moving on to road and bridge projects, Minister Edghill highlighted that while the APNU+AFC commissioned the brand new East Coast Demerara Highway, it was only for political purposes as a substantial amount of work is still incomplete.
He noted that while plans are set to have the project completed, the unspent balances will be used to replace all the acro-panel bridges between Sheriff Street to the Hope Canal.
“This will pave the way for the complete resurfacing of the East Coast Railway Embankment road from Sheriff Street to Enmore, and the construction of a new paved road from Golden Grove to the Hope Canal, thus providing six lanes available for commuters on this corridor,” the Minister said.
With respect to the Linden to Lethem road, the Public Works Minister explained that the Coalition only managed to conduct designs at a budget that surpassed the available funding. As such, the new administration has commenced the remodelling of the project “at a manageable level” – one where the highway can be completed from Linden to Mabura Hill with a budget of US$150 million.
Continuing, Minister Edghill said that the Ogle to Diamond by-pass road was designed by the Coalition to cost a whopping US$208 million; however, the PPP/C had previously secured a US$50 million line of credit from the Indian Government. The project, he said, moved nowhere due to “indecision and confusion.”
With mere days into office, Edghill boasted that the administration managed to secure an agreement to rescope the project into phases – the first phase will proceed from Ogle to Haags Bosch, including the connector at Haags Bosch to link with the East Bank Highway at Eccles.
“This,” he noted “will be done within the current line of credit of US$50 million, while at the same time, we are exploring opportunities to secure financing for the remainder of the road.”
Moving on, Minister Edghill pointed out that the Coalition failed to conclude arrangements for the construction of the new Demerara River crossing.
“This Honourable House will recall the impropriety surrounding the conduct of the feasibility study for the bridge and the feeble effort to launch an expression of interest (EOI), which was a phenomenal adventure in incompetence,” he said.
Now, works are being completed to facilitate the launching of an expression of interest (EOI) for the design, construction and financing options for a four-lane high-span bridge.
According to the Public Works Minister, APNU+AFC failed to unlock bilateral processes to allow for the award of the construction of an ocean-going ferry, which would benefit from an Indian Government grant of US$8 million, and a low-cost interest loan of US$10 million. Since assuming office, he added, the PPP/C had managed to secure an agreeable settlement of the award dispute and have approached the Indian Government to mediate a mutually agreeable settlement so that the project can proceed.
Sep 19, 2020Letter to the Sports Editor Dear Sports Editor, The Anamayah Memorial Hospital extends deepest condolences to the relatives of the late Wilbert Benjamin. It has been brought to the attention of the...
Sep 19, 2020
Sep 19, 2020
Sep 18, 2020
Sep 18, 2020
Sep 17, 2020
I am not a religious person in any sense of the word but I am praying that Guyana’s journalism departs from its lackluster,... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Once again, Guyana is causing regional and international worry following two sets of killings of young... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]