–with billions of dollars in infrastructural works undertaken by Central Government
BILLIONS of dollars worth of infrastructural improvements to roadways are currently being undertaken by the government through the Ministry of Public Works in the Capital City, Georgetown.
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill on Thursday inspected the projects that are under construction in various parts of the city.
These include the Kingston Seawall Beautification Project, Independence Boulevard, construction of the ‘Safe Space’ along the Lamaha Corridor, a four-lane carriageway at Cemetery Road and road works at Delhi Street, Prashad Nagar.
Minister Edghill informed the Department of Public Information (DPI) that those are roll-over projects from last year, and the ministry is ensuring they are implemented at an accelerated pace, to benefit citizens.
Meanwhile, construction of the 1,800 metres Independence Boulevard at Albouystown is progressing at an accelerated pace. Some $1.5 billion is being expended towards this project as well as Cemetery Road.
He said: “All three lots are progressing. The remaining encumbrances that are preventing them from working, most of them are being resolved as we speak. There’s full cooperation, that is being given to the ministry and to the contractors and that might be something that needs to be said because sometimes people only like to hear the storms, they don’t like to hear the quiet but things are happening.”
The project is also providing employment opportunities for residents in that area.
“When President Ali visited to see the progress of the work, he on the spot initiated that some of the streets, the smaller streets, and interlocking streets should be done. 12 of those concrete streets are currently under construction and that is being done by the people that live in the community,” Edghill said.
It is important to note that these are not all the projects that are being undertaken by the Public Works Ministry in Georgetown. The ministry will continue to develop and enhance its road projects all across Guyana in 2023.
Over $136 billion was set aside in budget 2023 to further advance transformative infrastructure projects nationwide.
Regarding the city, ideally the Mayor and City Council should have been leading the charge, but due to the widely reported inefficient and ineffective management of the APNU-led Council, there is not much, if anything, that could be credited to City Hall.
It is for this reason that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) will be looking to secure majority of the seats on the Council at the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE).
During a press conference on Thursday, General Secretary of the PPP/C, Bharrat Jagdeo, said Georgetown is one local government organ that the party has its eyes on.
Georgetown’s Mayor and City Council (MCC) has historically been controlled by the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), and is currently under the control of the PNCR’s cognate, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
However, the state of the city under the PNCR’s unbroken management continues to get called into question time and time again, as Georgetown continues to descend into an increasingly deplorable state.
Over the years, the garbage situation in Georgetown has worsened, reaching crisis levels in numerous instances, while the Council has also failed to deliver in line with its responsibility of taking care of the city’s roadways and drainage systems.
Mismanagement of the municipality’s funds has become commonplace, with the lack of accountability and transparency at City Hall making it impractical for Central Government to be able to continue to directly hand over money to the municipality.
The city’s citizenry continues to become increasingly disenchanted with the PNCR’s management, which has seen the PPP/C increasing its members on the municipality’s 30-seat Council.
According to Jagdeo, should Georgetown citizens put their trust in the PPP/C, they can expect greater accountability at the City Council, and better stewardship of the municipality’s funds, which would support an increased flow of revenue.
“Right now there’s no accountability there; you give them money for one thing, and they spend it on something else,” Jagdeo lamented.
With the PPP/C having gained increasing support at successive LGEs since 2016, Jagdeo was very upbeat on Thursday as he discussed his party’s chances at this year’s LGE.
The party, despite its confidence, will not be taking an easy win for granted, and is still looking to hit the ground running during this campaign season.