All systems go for city's traffic lights
US$2.1M deal signed with India bank By Miranda La Rose
Stabroek News
November 8, 2006

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An agreement paving the way for a US$2.1 million line of credit from the Export-Import Bank of India for the procurement and installation of traffic lights for Georgetown was among four signed between the governments of Guyana and India yesterday.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance Jennifer Webster signed on behalf of the Guyana Government while Tarun Sharma, representative of the Export-Import Bank of India for the Americas signed on the bank's behalf.

The three other agreements were for the gainful occupation by family members of diplomats, a cultural exchange programme, and for the establishment of the Rabindranauth Tagore Research Centre.

The signing ceremony took place at the Office of the President yesterday and among those witnessing were President Bharrat Jagdeo and India's Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who is currently on a three-day official visit to Guyana.

The agreement for the procurement and installation of traffic lights followed a recent study conducted by the Inter-American Development Bank, Guyana's High Commissioner to India, Ronald Gajraj told the media following the signing ceremony. He said that it was also as a result of the visit the Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs of India paid to Guyana in July. It is expected that the traffic lights would be placed at a number of critical junctions in Georgetown. Some suburban areas may also benefit.

Though he could not give a timeframe within which the traffic lights would be procured and installed, Gajraj said a significant amount of work has gone into the effort and he expected the project would get underway soon.

Guyana had previously sought assistance from other sources for the procurement and installation of traffic lights but had been unsuccessful. At present there are no functioning traffic lights in Georgetown.

High Commissioner to Guyana, Avinash Gupta signed the other three agreements on behalf of the Indian government. The agreement for gainful occupation by family members of a diplomatic mission or consular provides for family members, particularly spouses, of diplomatic, consular, administrative and technical staff of the diplomatic mission of Guyana in New Delhi and the diplomatic mission of India in Georgetown to seek employment in the country of post. The agreement to facilitate a programme of cultural exchanges between India and Guyana for the next three years - 2007, 2008 and 2009 - follows the cultural pact between the two countries signed on December 30, 1974. The new agreement will allow for the sharing of resource personnel and information between the Indian Cultural Centre and the Ministry of Culture and the promotion of cultural exchanges. Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony signed this agreement for Guyana.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr James Rose signed on behalf of Guyana the memorandum of understanding (MOU) to establish the Rabindranath Tagore Resource Centre at the University of Guyana Turkeyen Campus. The centre would be inaugurated this afternoon. Under the MOU, the Indian government would in the first instance, provide a gift of some 700 books and 100 DVDs on various subjects as well as a number of computers, printers and scanners. According to the agreement, the collection of books and DVDs would be updated on a regular basis by the Indian government. The University of Guyana would manage the centre and the MOU would remain in force indefinitely.