Xavier promises continued progress on infrastructure this year
Guyana Chronicle
April 3, 2002

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MINISTER of Transport and Hydraulics, Mr Anthony Xavier has said that his ministry made progress in 2001 and will continue the trend this year.

Reviewing the performance during the Budget Debate in Parliament, he said Ministry of Works embraced the concept of togetherness and has been playing a pivotal role in facilitating the process for forward thrust, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.

The minister said a lot was achieved, despite a period of five months in which to accomplish its work plan, because the estimates were presented late, following the March 19 elections.

Under the miscellaneous roads programme, 68 were to be built and, in Regions Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands), Four (Demerara/Mahaica), Five (Mahaica/Berbice), Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) and Seven (Cuyuni/Mazaruni), 66 were successfully completed at a cost of $354M, Xavier said.

He said seven bridges were constructed in Region Four and one each in Regions Five and Seven, all costing $34M.

Five were built in Georgetown, three in the Joint Services Housing Scheme.

According to Xavier, 911 metres of sea defence were erected in Regions Three, Four and Five. In Regions Three and Four at Cornelia Ida, Hague, Stanleytown and Mon Repos and, in Region Five, at Trafalgar pump station and Brand Number 40.

Between Regions Four to Seven, 733 metres out of the 2,200 planned were done at Bel Air/Mon Choisi, 67 per cent of the emergency works project was finished and major breaches at Buxton and Vigilance were sealed.

GINA said the minister reported that Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD) repaired the dredge 'Steve N' and the ferry boat 'Lady Northcote' while the engines of m.v. 'Makouria' and m.v. 'Torani' were successfully maintained.

Rehabilitation of Bartica stelling is complete; remedial work was undertaken at Vreed-en-Hoop, Georgetown and Parika stellings and the new gantry chains installed at New Amsterdam stelling.

Dredging was a success at Vreed-en-Hoop and the Demerara ship channel as was a hydrographic survey on the ships channel while buoys and beacons were installed and maintained.

Demerara Harbour Bridge maintenance programme continued through rehabilitation and structural repairs and closure to traffic was limited except for a brief period, between July and August, when there were restrictions at certain times of the day.

More work is slated for the bridge and Xavier expressed hope the conclusion this year would ensure the safety of motor vehicles, too.

He said major accomplishments in air transport were institutional and organisational reforms. The new civil aviation regulations governing licensing are now being enforced while the rules are being finalised by the Chief Parliamentary Counsel.

"I am happy to report that the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority is no longer a dream and the staffing is now under way. The training to prepare personnel is also being addressed," Xavier told the National Assembly.

GINA said he mentioned the leasing of Ogle aerodrome to a private consortium, Ogle Airport Inc., adding that the necessary infrastructure improvement and the environmental impact assessment, to make it compliant with International Civil Aviation Organisation, are being addressed

Xavier said accommodation is being provided for some employees of 'Canawaima' ferry service who work at Moleson Creek and more land is to be acquired to build two other houses and an administration building.

The contract for a new water supply system to Moleson Creek area was signed late in 2001 and the job will commence shortly.

Meanwhile, electricity is being connected and the stelling will be rewired.

"We have come a long way but there are still many hurdles to cross," Xavier acknowledged.