MMC continues upgrade of Lethem trail
Round trip on Bartica road costs $7,000
January 27, 2003
It is taking about 10 to 12 hours to reach Lethem from Georgetown as upgrading of the road continues.
Mekdeci Mining Company (MMC) whose job it is to undertake remedial work on the trail, has been successful in completing almost all of its bad patches.
MMC executive, retired Colonel, Carl Morgan, told Stabroek News that the company was currently working on a bad spot just before Annai which when completed would allow for smooth motoring to the border town.
According to Morgan, MMC would continue its work on both banks of the Essequibo River prior to the onset of the rainy season. Some of the sections to engage the attention of the company are those unsettled by trucks.
This, he said, is part of the company's routine maintenance schedule which is expected to see the roadway being kept at a reasonable standard to promote greater use. Commenting on the recently rehabilitated road to Bartica, the MMC executive said that fares are now being collected from vehicles following the expiration of the temporary tariff freeze.
Cars, pick-ups and cruisers are now being charged $7,000 per round trip although the response Morgan said is not as good as the company would have liked. It hopes that greater use would be made of the roadway when a reliable operator begins a passenger service shortly.
This, according to Morgan, should also be boosted around the time of the Easter weekend and the annual regatta.
He said there had been periods of heavier traffic and cited the January 1, Kashif and Shanghai football event in Linden which attracted a number of Barticians with cars.
There were also several persons from the community who he said, would normally travel down to Splashmin's Fun Park on the Soesdyke/Linden Highway.
Although work is not currently being carried out on the laterite roadway, there are plans for a constant maintenance programme whenever necessary.
Following negotiations with the Ministry of Public Works last year, MMC agreed to rehabilitate the two laterite trails in return for them being allowed to collect a toll to recover costs associated with the upgrading. (Oscar P. Clarke)