Gov’t to begin remedial works on Coomacka road after Ministers visit

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, January 19, 2017

Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson said the funds allocated for works on the Linden to Lethem road will go towards rehabilitating the Coomacka road to bring immediate relief to the residents.

Minister Ferguson told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that her Ministry is responsible for the Linden to Lethem road.  She explained that in December 2016 a contract totalling $21M was awarded to Rim Construction Incorporated for stock piling laterite materials for works on Lots 13 and Lot 14 of the Linden to Lethem road.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson engaging residents on the Coomacka road yesterday during her visit to the Mines area in Region 10

However, due to the state of the road and the region’s inability to fix the road, her Ministry will utilise the $21M to fix the defects on the road. The Ministry will utilise supplementary funds from her Ministry’s budget to complete Lots 13 and 14 of the Linden to Lethem road the Minister said

“Since the Coomaacka matter came to our attention what we have decided as a Ministry is that these monies, rather than stock piling these materials we have transferred these sums to address the current Coomacka area or problem so the contractor has given all assurance that work will commence this weekend,” Minister Ferguson underlined.

Minister Ferguson pointed out that the Region Ten’s Council is responsible for the Coomacka Road but her Ministry will take up the responsibility to provide relief for the residents.

The Minister noted that she was advised that by 3:00 pm today, equipment will be deployed into the area and works will commence immediately. She said that the road will be graded, culverts will be installed and drains will be dug to avoid water settling on the road to wash away the laterite when it rains.

Additionally, the Public Infrastructure Minister stated that during her visit yesterday she was also informed of defective bridges in the area and she has committed her Ministry to repairing these.

“I visited areas such as Old England, Nottinghamshire, Coomacka and Three Friends/Maria Elizabeth in these areas we have three bridges and I had my team of technical engineers with me and they would have conducted an assessment and we would have a design done before actual works can commence,” Ferguson explained.

A big hole found on the Coomacka road in the Mines area in Region 10

The Minister emphasised that the government remains committed towards providing relief for those affected but there is a process that must be followed. In that, if the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is to undertake necessary works then the preliminary works have to be done including creating the design, tender document and invite bids.

Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson and her technical team assessing some of the bridges in the Mines area in Region 10

The Minister said this was explained to the residents who understood and terminated their protest immediately.

Minister Ferguson and her team of technical personnel along with Minister of Indigenous People’s Affairs, Sydney Allicock yesterday visited the Mines” area, Region 10 and listened to the residents’ concerns.

On Monday January 10, 2017 drivers operating in several mining areas across Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) staged a strike to highlight the deplorable condition of the Coomacka access road.

The drivers were joined by schoolchildren and residents from areas including Coomacka, Three Friends, Nottinghamshire, Old England and Yaribo, at Coomacka where their issues were brought to the fore.

By: Ranetta La Fleur

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