Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson is confident that by the end of the first quarter, work will commence on more than 60 per cent of infrastructural works in the hinterland and on the coastland.
The Minister told the Government Information Agency (GINA), that the early passage of the 2017 National Budget is proving beneficial as it has allowed for early tendering for infrastructural projects. He noted that this will see more than 60 percent of scheduled works beginning by March 31, 2017.
“In the hinterland, we’ve done our site visits, consultations with the region, urban townships, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC). Some of our bridges and roads are already out for tender, and so we do anticipate that by the end of the first quarter about 60 to 70 per cent of my projects would have already been tendered and contracts awarded and actual works started,” Minister Patterson explained.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson
The Minister further explained that though some of the infrastructural projects will have to go through a consultation process, several tenders including those for works on the East Bank Demerara’s pedestrian and overhead bypasses have been already received. He added that with the purchase of new equipment, the Ministry will have more capacity to commence those works shortly.
“We have bought several (pieces of) equipment including new pavers, trucks, bitumen distribution plants and excavators and they’re now in the country. The idea is to have a new additional road crew within the Ministry; there’s one that does all the work in Georgetown and there is one that is over in Canal Polder right now so with the new equipment there will be a third crew,” the Minister told GINA.
With the new capacity, the Ministry will also be able to address the backlog of requests made. He pointed out that the Ministry will be creating a schedule of areas that need to be addressed.
The works will commence from the East Coast Demerara coming towards Georgetown. “We have a crew working in Georgetown already so after the East Coast we will go to the East Bank Demerara, and we will be doing access roads for communities. I have also received requests all the way from Berbice which we are going to address,” the Minister stated.
Areas on the East Coast including Melanie, Enmore, Coldingen and Diamond are among those scheduled for infrastructural works.
In the 2017 National Budget, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure was allocated $34.5B, from which $1.1B was provided for miscellaneous roads, and $1B for urban roads and drainage in Regions Two, Three, Four, Five, Six and Ten.