45% of budget expended under Public Sector Investment Project- Minister Patterson
Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson during a recent press conference clarified that the Public Sector Investment Project falls under the ministry’s capital works programme and a total of 11 billion dollars has been expended thus far, out of the allocated 24. 28 billion dollars.
This amount, the minister informed accounts for 45 percent of the budget.
Patterson highlighted the progress of several road projects including the East bank Berbice road, where some 1.2 billion dollars has been allocated for those works. The project has been tendered and is currently awaiting “no objection” from the relevant agencies.
The fourth largest road project, the 42 million US dollars, West Demerara Highway is now 40 percent complete and according to the Public Infrastructure minister the remaining one billion dollars would be disbursed as the contractor moves along with the works.
Unfortunately, the minister said, the extension of the East Coast Demerara highway, a project which is to be conducted in collaboration with the Chinese Exim Bank, has not started and Patterson was unable to provide a realistic date when works would commence. “There was a hold up with Exim bank querying the cost submitted by the contractor, ” he told media operatives.
Meantime, as it relates to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion Project, Minister Patterson informed media operatives that it is moving apace with 3.8 billion of the total amount of 4 billion dollars, which was allocated for 2016 already expended.
“This project has to be finished by December 2017 because at the end of December 2017, the loan comes to an end, so we have been pushing the contractor to complete, so no doubt we may have to come for a supplementary for the balance of the quarter working apace,” he noted.
At the CJIA there are two lanes merging into one with a sharp right turn at the head of the junction, however, Patterson said the ministry will be constructing a sizeable roundabout to connect the roads and this is expected to be completed at the end of the expansion project in December 2017.