The impending increase in the tolls for the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) is still be ironed out.
This is according to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure (MPI) who said in a statement this afternoon that, despite reports in the media, “the proposal to increase the tolls is indeed up for Cabinet consideration, but approval has not been granted.”
It was noted that the memorandum which was submitted by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, was deferred.
“Minister Patterson is currently out of the country but is being represented by Minister within the Ministry, Annette Ferguson, who has confirmed the deferral of the memorandum and has indicated that the proposal is still being ironed out. Furthermore, the management of the DHB is unaware of any new implemented tolls” the statement said.
In the June 8, 2016 edition of the Guyana Chronicle, under the headline “Cabinet clears new tolls for DHB”, it was indicated that a decision was taken by Cabinet to increase tolls from $20 to $40 for motorcyclists and from $100 for $200 for motorcars. The tolls for buses and SUVs remain unchanged, the article said.
MPI wishes to emphasise that the Ministry and the DHB Company will relay any official increase in tolls for the bridge.
However, in an invited comment on Wednesday, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo hinted that the new costs will be approved and could be a part of the recovery efforts for the construction of the new crossing expected for Demerara as recently announced.
He stated that “unless you have a cost recovery, you will not be able to maintain this bridge or any other bridge and it is might as well, you start doing it now. Be frank and upfront with the Guyanese people that if you want the better life and the better convenience, then you will have to pay a little more for that.”
The Prime Minister is of the view that it “is unfair” for commuters of the DHB to be paying far less than what is being paid to use the Berbice River Bridge which is owned by shareholders.