‘We will be in every community repairing your roads’ – Min. Patterson

– $2.9Billion will be spent on roads for 2019

– 33 per cent when compared to 2018

DPI, Guyana, Saturday, December 1, 2018

The sum of $38.5Billion dollars has been budgeted for Public Infrastructure in 2019, a ten per cent increase when compared to 2018. Seventy-two (72) per cent of the total will be pumped into capital projects, while the remainder will go towards maintenance and repairs.

Appearing on the Budget In Focus programme on the National Communications Network (NCN), Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson explained that next year, some $2.9Billion will be spent on miscellaneous and urban roads in all of the 10 towns and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) throughout the country.  The total amount reflects a 33 per cent increase when compared to 2018.

“We are pleased with the increase. Over the years, we would have done a total assessment of all the roads and so the extra 33 per cent will result in a lot more roads being done this year. Persons have been complaining that they need roads, streetlights, drainage playfields and community centres. We heard them, and I would like to call my budget ‘I heard you,’ that’s my theme since we are going to go to each and every community that has requested roads.”

Some of the areas to benefit include Lima Sands and Suddie, Region Two; South Ruimveldt Gardens and Park, Lodge, East and West Ruimveldt, Albouystown and Charlestown, Agricola, Region Four; Angoys Avenue, Hope Town, Region Six; Mahdia Region Eight, Lethem, Region Nine; Mabaruma, Region One, and Parika/Goshen road, Region two, just to name a few.

Additionally, the ministry will also be collaborating with the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) to construct and rehabilitate roads in developing housing schemes including La Parfait Harmonie, Diamond, Herstelling, Grove and Providence.

According to the Public Infrastructure Minister, a total of $2Billion will be invested in the hinterland on the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of a number of roads, dams and trails. In 2019, Minister Patterson said, the ministry has prioritised the Wainaina, Yakarita and Bartica-Potaro roads, Karassabai to Kato, Ituni to Kwakwani, Kwakwani to Orealla and the Linden-Lethem roads.

The Ministry will also be taking over the responsibility from the Guyana Gold and Diamond Minsters Associations and the Guyana Manufacturing Association to maintain the roads under their management. “We will ensure that we keep all of these trails passable for the economic activity of these agencies in 2019,” Minister Patterson assured.

“We have a full programme for 2019, and I will be reviewing the projects myself and confirming that they will reach the intended inhabitants,” Minister Patterson emphasised.

One of the transformational projects the Government will be pushing next year is the commencement of the East Coast to East Bank (Ogle to Diamond) road linkage. This project is being funded by the Government of Indian at a cost of approximately $25.2Billion (US$120M).

According to Minister Patterson, the initial stages of the project catered for a single-lane road, however, after a further assessment was conducted it was decided that a four-lane road will be more feasible. As part of the project, several communities will also be linked including Aubrey Barker Road, Eccles, Mocha and Diamond.

Further, the 2019 budget also included sums for a study to be conducted on a road from Diamond to the Linden Soesdyke highway.

Minister Patterson made it clear that the East Bank bypass road is not a new project because it was in discussion for a number of years, but “under this government, we have revamped it and we will execute it.”

The Minister said that these projects fall under the ministry’s 2025 to 2030 plan for public infrastructure in Guyana.

Synieka Thorne.

Image: Department of Public Information.

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