-funds ‘saved’ from ferry contract to be used, Edghill says
THE construction of three new stellings in Region One (Barima-Waini) is slated to commence soon and will facilitate the smoother movement of people and goods, according to Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill.
The minister made this disclosure in a letter to the editor which was published in the Sunday Stabroek.
The stellings will be constructed at Morawhanna, Kumaka and Port Kaituma and according to Minister Edghill, these projects will “drastically improve the life [sic] of citizens of Region One.”
The three stellings have long been earmarked for renovations after several sections had been left neglected for years.
Minister Edghill disclosed that funds for the initiative will be sourced from the $588 million the government has saved from one of the ministry’s most recent investments.
The agreement Minister Edghill was referencing is the construction of an ocean-going passenger and cargo ferry which will ply the North-West District to Georgetown route. Government has invested some US$12.7 million ($2.6 billion) in this venture.
Minister Edghill disclosed that under the previous administration, the initial budget for the project was some US$15.3 million, which equates to almost US$2.8 million ($588 million) more than the US$12.7 million agreement, which was signed on Wednesday.
The contract was awarded to Garden Reach Shipbuilders Engineers Limited (GRSEL) to source a brand new ferry.
Further, Minister Edghill stated that construction of the vessel will ensure that future travels to the North-West District and other parts of Guyana are faster, safer and more efficient.
“The award of the contract to GRSEL in the sum of 12.7M USD has saved the people of Guyana 2.8M USD as the only other bidder, Shoft Shipyard Private Ltd.’s (SSPL) tender was 15.3M USD. The savings of 2.8M USD will be invested in the construction of new stellings at Morawhanna, Kumaka and Port Kaituma in Region No. 1,” Edghill said in his letter.
Both the stellings and the passenger and cargo vessel are part of the government’s effort to provide the people of Region One with easier and better access to basic resources.
According to Edghill, it is a basic need for the people of Guyana to have safe transit points and this has pushed the government to make the decision to begin work on the stellings.
The minister noted that the new ferry would provide commuters with shorter travel time and safer and more comfortable services. Given the imminent arrival, now is the opportune time for the stellings to be constructed.