MINIBUS drivers who traverse the route from Linden to Kwakwani have been pushed to the edge as, for too long, they do not have a choice but to contend with the deplorable state of the Kwakwani Access Road.The access road, which spans approximately 150 miles, comprises of a rough mixture of slush, condensed soil particles, and enormous potholes.
According to one bus driver, who identified himself as “Tiger”, the condition of the road has caused a number of accidents over the past few years, especially when it rains.
The minibus drivers are calling on the Ministry of Infrastructure to remedy this situation which has been plaguing them for the past seven years.
“This access road has been in a deplorable state for as long as I can remember, and it is really taking bread out of our pockets,” the man lamented as he spoke on behalf of the bus drivers.
Regional Vice Chairman Elroy Adolph, who hails from Kwakwani, and the bus drivers told the Guyana Chronicle that the contractor, hired to repair the road and to change its current state to that of a decent hinterland highway, has been failing to do so for the past seven years. They also said that the aggregates used to complete this task are mediocre and incompatible with the natural soil of the roadway.
These materials are sluggishly thrown on the surface and roughly graded down. When heavy duty trucks and other vehicles pass, the road is opened and left with huge holes. When it rains, the vehicles experience tremendous difficulty to pass. Their occupants have to engage in team-pushing, as they are stuck most of the time.
“Saturday morning, when the rain fall, we had to lay planks on the road for the vehicles to pass, as the state the road was in made it impossible to drive through,” bus driver Tiger said.
Under normal weather, it would take a bus driver approximately three hours to reach his destination; but in increment weather conditions, it would take as much as 4 or 5 hours. This would result in additional gasoline consumption, since the vehicle would have to expend tremendous effort to negotiate its way out of the deplorable roadway.
According to the Vice Chairman, the Minister of Infrastructure should “examine the horn” as the contractor is based at his ministry. “It has been seven years that this has been going on and the situation is not getting better, but worse. Minister David Patterson should examine the horn and change the contractor, since he is obviously incompetent in handling this job,” he said.
The bus drivers are calling upon the Ministry of Infrastructure to award someone who knows about constructing hinterland roads, where heavy-duty vehicles normally traverse. It has also been recommended by these individuals that the ministry needs to follow the weather pattern before commencing road works. Do so duringthe raining season can be counter-productive.
Adolph is also recommending that quality materials be used to construct the roads. “Is seven years that this contractor continues to use the same type of materials on the road, and it continues to fail us; so we need proper materials,” Tiger told this publication.
Regional Chairman Renis Morian has contacted at the Ministry of Public Infrastructure the engineer responsible for this project, and will be meeting with him soon. He will also be taking samples of laterite found in Linden that can be used for the road project.