Govt’s take over of Berbice Bridge “unlawful” – BBCI


The Berbice Bridge Company Inc. (BBCI) has deemed the Toll Oder issued by Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson on Monday as “unlawful.”

The company in a statement on Tuesday said it “considers, based on legal advice, that the Order is unlawful and ultra virus under Section 11 of the Berbice River Bridge Act on which it is based.”

Section 11 of the Berbice River Bridge Act- 2006 states that the Government may exercise the functions of the concessionaire “in the event of a national emergency declared by the President; or if the Minister determines that its exercise is necessary or expedient in the interests of public safety; or if the Concessionaire has defaulted in the performance of its obligations under the Concession Agreement.”

Minister Patterson issued an order to take over the maintenance and operations of the Bridge from Monday, November 05, 2018 “until the date the Minister specifies by notice on the cessation of the threat to public safety.”

The Bridge company said it has written a letter to the Minister as it relates to the facts and reasons on which the Order is based, pursuant to Section 15 of the Judicial Review Act.

Subject to the Minister’s response, the BBCI said it will consider its options “which do not exclude a legal challenge” to the Order.

In the meantime, the company noted that it has no alternative but to comply with the Order issued by the Minister prohibiting the Company from implementing the proposed increase in tolls.

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