Region 8 infrastructural works progressing
(April 7, 2018) As Mahdia, Region 8 continues to experience significant infrastructural development, Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson paid the community a visit yesterday (April 6, 2018) to get a first-hand look at recently completed and ongoing works being executed by the Ministry.
Minister Patterson was accompanied by a number of MPI officials, including the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Kenneth Jordan; Chief Roads and Bridges Officer, Mr. Ron Rahaman; and Chief Executive Officer of the Hinterland Electrification Company Inc. (HECI), Mr. Horace Williams. Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, and two representatives of his Ministry were also present for the visit and took some time out to meet with residents on MoB’s behalf.
MPI is currently executing six projects within the region. These are the construction of Mahdia Community Roads; the rehabilitation of roads and drains at the Potaro Main Access Road – Mahdia to Denham Bridge; rehabilitation of roads and drains in Mahdia; rehabilitation/construction of Brian Sucre Junction to Mahdia; rehabilitation/construction of Eagle Mountain Foot/Stone Hill to Konawaruk Junction (Phase 1); and rehabilitation of Mile 78 to Cassandra Crossing. These projects are all scheduled to conclude within the coming weeks.
Minister Patterson indicated that the focus will be turned to the rehabilitation of 10 kilometres of roadway between Cassandra Point and the Denham Bridge. This stretch is important since it serves as a link between Bartica and Mahdia and works on it could commence in 2019.
“It is our hope to bring greater relief and so we will be doing another 500 metres of roadway in Region 8 this year,” he said.
He further emphasised that while the Ministry is keen on providing its help, the regional administration and the private sector also had roles to play in pushing for development within Region 8.
Meanwhile, before conducting a community walkthrough, the Ministers met with the board of the Mahdia Power & Light (MPL) and its members provided a progress report on the company’s performance for this year thus far, including its income, expenditure, and collection rates. The chairman of the board also highlighted some of the challenges being experienced by the company.
In response, Minister Patterson expressed concern over the collection rates, which typically peaked at 70 percent. It was explained to the MPI team that residents are often in arrears. Minister Patterson emphasised that MPL is a business and must therefore act as such to improve its reliability and overall service to consumers.
“We cannot have a power company operating as a social service…you will always be in a severe deficit,” Minister Patterson said. He continued, “A company operating like this will run into serious problems.” He added that while the goal is not to be unnecessarily hard on residents, it was important to maintain a certain standard where the residents upheld their responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the Ministers visited the famous Denham Bridge. The bridge is a point of interest for both ministries due to its infrastructure, business, development, and tourism potential.