US$3.2M contract signed for supervision of East Coast-East Bank road link project
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Representative of RITES Limited (seated at right) and Permanent Secretary (ag) at the Ministry of Public Works, Ron Rahaman (seated at left) sign the contract as other officials watch on (Adrian Narine photo)
Representative of RITES Limited (seated at right) and Permanent Secretary (ag) at the Ministry of Public Works, Ron Rahaman (seated at left) sign the contract as other officials watch on (Adrian Narine photo)

ON Wednesday, the Ministry of Public Works signed a US$3.2 million contract for consultancy services in relation to the construction of the new East Coast-East Bank of Demerara road link project.

At the signing ceremony, which was held at the Ministry’s Kingston, Georgetown Boardroom, it was announced that India-based RITES (Rail India Technical Economic Service) Limited was awarded the supervisory consultancy to overlook the construction of the Ogle to Eccles road linkage.

The multimillion United States Dollars (USD) contract will see the company working for 34 months in a supervisory capacity overlooking the construction of the linkage which is expected to be completed within 24 months. The remaining 10 months immediately following the conclusion of the construction will be for the defects liability period.

Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill, speaking to media workers, said the contract is one of many for government and forms part of a commitment to accountability and transparency.

To this end, he noted that the contractor for the initial construction project was selected through a public tendering process. Additionally, Minister Edghill said the supervisory consultancy was selected through the exact same process.

“RITES will have to begin to provide that supervisory services to the various utilities to make sure that we clear the carriageway and I would hope that that would be something that would be swift,” the Public Works Minister said.

Officials from both contracted companies were present for the consultancy contract signing (Adrian Narine photo)

As a result, he indicated that the company which was contracted for the construction of the road has been engaged in mobilising equipment and additional personnel to Guyana.

While both companies that are engaged in the massive road project are India based, the Public Works Minister noted that the two countries enjoy great bilateral co-operation and within these engagements, the laws of both countries are followed.

Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner in Georgetown, Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, stated that this is another example of the close relationship fostered between India and Guyana.

Giving some background, the High Commissioner noted that RITES is a public sector enterprise in India which was formed in 1974 and serves as a multidisciplinary consultancy organisation in various fields including transport and infrastructure.

The Government of Guyana, last Friday, signed a US$106.4 million contract for the construction of the first phase of the East Coast to East Bank Demerara road link project.

The first phase of the road is expected to be a four-lane highway that stretches some 7.8 kilometres. India-based construction company, Ashoka Buildcon Limited was awarded the contract through a public procurement process even as the project is being supported through a concessional line of credit worth US$50 million from the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of India.

The overarching infrastructural plan is to improve connectivity within the country and also between Guyana’s geographic neighbours, Suriname and Brazil.

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