IDB funded road project seems to ignore Greater Georgetown Development Plan
January 9, 2002
I refer to the report headlined "IDB approves US$33m for road projects" (6.l.2002). The report suggested that a loan has been obtained to rehabilitate the Mahaica - Rosignol road, which is very welcome, but what about the widening of the narrow bridges between Georgetown and Mahaica which cause road accidents frequently?
In the report, the Minister of Transport and Hydraulics also stated that US$3.2 million will be spent on the feasibility study for investments to improve the southern access to the city from the east bank. He further stated that the access could be either via Mandela Avenue or Ogle, depending on the study. Isn't the Minister aware that the possible routes have already been studied and indicated on the Greater Georgetown Development Plan. Rather than investigating the proposed routes, he is prepared to spend US$3.2 million on the feasibility study which does not make any sense.
The report further states that a road will connect Mandela avenue via the cane fields, to the Soesdyke Linden Highway. For the Minister's information, this 'Bypass' road has also been proposed in the Georgetown plan. Why doesn't the Ministry investigate the roads and bypasses already proposed in the Georgetown plan or do they want to make the same mistake they did when the railway embankment road was built?
Bypasses and main roads built for high speed traffic never pass through the built up areas. When this road was opened for 'two-way' traffic recently, no consideration was given to improving the junction on Sheriff Street that is causing traffic hazards. Even the turning curbs and signs are not done properly. People all along the railway embankment road are building unauthorized connections, but no attempts are being made to stop them. If these illegal encroachments are not stopped right now, this road will become very dangerous and a hazard to traffic.
It is my sincere wish that some budget allocation should be made for the road junctions, road markings and traffic signs of the city roads under the Ministry's control.
It is also mentioned in the report that the works will include pavements, shoulder strengthening, widening and the improvement of drainage works, construction of curbs, sidewalks and parking lanes in priority areas and installation of traffic signs and pavement markings as well as road lighting and other safety elements.
I was surprised to note that nowhere in the report is there any mention of the George-town plan proposals. Housing Minister, Mr Sheik Baksh and the Mayor Mr Green have mentioned that all future development is going to be according to the George-town plan which, according to them, is soon going to be approved and is to be followed by all developers.