Minister Edghill calls for responsible construction practices to safeguard roads, drainage systems
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill
Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill

AMIDST growing concerns about road-damage and traffic hazards caused by the improper storage of construction materials, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, has sent a strong message urging members of the public to desist from engaging in such practices.

During a recent interview with the Guyana Chronicle, Minister Edghill said that there should be no storage of materials, including earth, sand, stone, blocks, cement, timber and steel on the roads and the road shoulders.

Acknowledging the commendable efforts of individuals to improve their surroundings and transform Guyana, he stressed the importance of responsible construction practices, emphasising that the roads and drainage systems must not bear the brunt of these developments.

“People are taking pride in their own surroundings. They’re building out things to improve their life. But …they just can’t dump every truckload of sand and every stone on the road,” he stated.

Highlighting one of the major concerns, the minister warned against mixing concrete directly on roads.

He explained that this not only damages the road surface but also hampers the proper drainage of rainfall, resulting in water accumulation and potential road deterioration.

To mitigate these issues, Minister Edghill suggested the use of “ransom” concrete mixers which will enable construction workers to cure the concrete without causing harm to the roads.

Additionally, he called for the responsible disposal of construction waste and remnants and urged individuals to remove such materials properly instead of leaving them on road shoulders for an extended period.
Furthermore, he said that short-term permissions granted by local authorities, such as Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs), for construction activities, should not overlook the proper maintenance of drains and removal of excess materials once the construction is completed.

A pile of sand blocking the free flow of traffic on a busy road (File photo)

Minister Edghill’s appeal to the public comes as a reminder of the shared responsibility in safeguarding the nation’s infrastructure.

“People are improving their lives but at the same time, please cooperate with us. Let’s remove the remnants of a construction building ware. Let’s dispose of it properly. Don’t leave them on the shoulders. When you dig your drains don’t block the water from getting into the drainage. We got to work together,” he added.

Last year, the Ministry of Housing had warned that there should be no storage of construction materials on roads and the road shoulders.

“There should also be no mixing of concrete on the roads and the road shoulders and heavy trucks (twin steer, 20 tonnes) are not allowed drive on them,” the ministry had said.

The ministry also said that it will be monitoring, and that persons will be charged a $10,000 penalty per day for destroying the infrastructure.

It was also recommended that smaller trucks be used for the delivery of materials. Additionally, a space right on the land must be found to store raw materials and for the mixing of concrete.

Recently, a 36-year-old Chief Prison Officer died after crashing into a sand heap along the Melanie Public Road, East Coast Demerara (ECD).

According to the police, Patrick Perry was proceeding west along the southern side of the road at a fast rate of speed, when he lost control of the vehicle, PAC 6465, while negotiating a left bend on the road.

As a result, the vehicle collided with a heap of sand on the southern parapet and toppled several times.
“The driver was flung out of the vehicle and landed on the road surface, where he received injuries to his body. He was seen and examined by the Emergency Medical Team (EMT) at Melanie, where he was pronounced dead,” police noted in a press release.


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