Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson and a team from his ministry which included Minister in the Ministry Annette Ferguson on Friday held wide-ranging discussions with a delegation from the Private Sector Commission (PSC) on infrastructure projects covering a number of areas including; roads, bridges, airstrips, stellings, sea defenses, ports and a deep water harbour.
According to a joint press statement released following the meeting, the PSC delegation headed by the governance sub-committee chairman Capt. Gerry Gouveia was convened to facilitate the Commission being brought up to date with current and future plans for key aspects of the nation’s infrastructure development, and to identify some issues with which the private sector is concerned.
Mr. Patterson told OilNOW in May that his ‘shopping list’ has already been prepared and approved for the undertaking of a number of major transformational infrastructure projects when revenue from oil production begins to flow in 2020. He said his plans for upgrading and transforming Guyana’s ailing infrastructure are extensive and will see significant interventions in communities across the country, including those located in remote and currently inaccessible areas.
Among the key decisions arising out of the Friday meeting was the re-establishment of periodic meetings between the Public Infrastructure Ministry and the infrastructure sub-committee of the PSC to provide for the exchange of information and input from the private sector in the decision making and implementation processes regarding infrastructure development. This will begin with the PSC providing the Ministry with regular feedback about the state of airstrips in hinterland communities so as to ensure that these remain in good condition and safe for use by aircraft serving these communities, the press statement said.
There was also detailed discussion on the issue of the future viability of the Berbice Bridge Company with a decision taken to further discuss a number of options advanced to ensure the ongoing good condition and safety of the bridge.
In bringing the PSC delegation up to date with the state of hinterland roads Minister Patterson disclosed that current repairs to the Linden to Lethem road will be completed by the end of August. There had been widespread complaints about the state of the road following the last rainy season. The ministry’s team of technicians at the meeting explained that quarterly maintenance of the road has proven insufficient and that a monthly schedule of maintenance has now been put in place. Emergency work has also been undertaken to fix four hinterland roads among those identified by the Forestry Association; seven of twelve roads identified by the Guyana Manufacturers and Services Association (GM&SA); and the top four identified by the Gold & Diamond Miners Association.
There was significant discussion about the East Coast/East Bank bypass to be constructed between Ogle and Diamond. A number of questions raised by the PSC were addressed by a team of the ministry’s engineers.
The PSC delegation also raised questions about ongoing work on the current East Coast and the East Berbice sectional roads and the Sheriff/Mandela road project. The PSC has undertaken to help resolve an issue which threatens the timely completion of work on the East Coast road.
According to the press statement, the discussions also centered around plans for the completion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at Timehri; the construction of the new bridge across the Demerara River; the proposed deep water harbor; maintenance of the sea defenses and completion of the Indian Monument in East Berbice.
The Minister’s team included Kenneth Jordan (Permanent Secretary); Geoffrey Vaughn (Chief Works Officer), Ron Rahaman (Chief Roads and Bridges Officer), Nigel Erskine (Head, Technical Services), Greg Rickford (Coordinator Hinterland Committee), George Linton (Design Engineer) and Imran Baskh (Design Engineer), while the PSC team included Capt. Gerald Gouveia, Mr. Edward Boyer, Mr. Komal Singh, Mr. Deonarine Ramsaroop, Mr. Wesley Kirton, Mr. Komal Ramnauth, Mr. Learie Barclay, Ms. Elizabeth Alleyne and Mr. Devon Seeram.