IN the past 20 months, there has been a flurry of infrastructural works in the sub-urban area comprising sub-sections Sophia, Pattensen, Lilliendaal, South Turkeyen and Cummings Park, commonly referred to in general as Sophia. Asphalted roads have been constructed where tracks and dams once existed and street lights installed under what I think is called the Sophia Ring Road project. Habitation of this vast area on the eastern outskirt of Georgetown, with an estimated population of 30,000, was encouraged by the late Dr. Cheddie Jagan even prior to his ascension to the presidency in 1992. It saw the evolution and transformation from what was likened to a huge squatter settlement to a modestly regularised housing area. Regrettably, Dr. Jagan’s successors virtually forsook this section of the capital in the last 20 years prior to 2015. Any infrastructural work done during that period was of a shoddy nature by disreputable contractors, who seemingly disappeared leaving incomplete works behind. I know of a particular street that developed potholes and erosion in less than a month of its construction.
The recent infrastructural works by the current APNU-AFU coalition government has been timely, and particularly good, given the high density population comprised of a mainly youthful lower to middle class component. It gives the inhabitants a sense of belonging and inclusivity.
Notwithstanding the improvements, the infrastructural works seem to have come to a sudden halt without explanation.
The stretch of road, commonly called ‘B-Field’ road, running north to south from Dennis Street to the Lamaha Canal, which was resurfaced has deteriorated significantly due to the load of traffic detoured from other access-ways previously under construction. Erosion is at its worst closer to the 10th field. This is just one of the many motorways without revetment, sandwiched by parallel canals, where high volumes of traffic impacts deterioration over time. The ‘B-Field’ road undoubtedly has the highest volume of traffic since it is also used as alternative by motorists from the East Coast to access South Georgetown and vice versa.
Lighting of streets has also been a positive feature, but the distribution is somewhat mind-boggling. Some sections are so heavily lit that you can find a fine-pin on the road at nights, while other sections have no lighting installed, period. A good example is the D-Field road, where darkness stretches from the Dennis Street junction with the ‘Red Shop’, past the Turkeyen Police Station for about 1,300ft or 1/4mile going south. On that same stretch of road however, lights prevail from the Mosque going south into Cummings Park. If the lights allocated are limited then the spread should have been broader to allow for greater coverage.
I believe that tidying up of this infrastructural project is imperative if the current government wishes to score full points for the developmental works at hand.