Without splurging, all community roads will be addressed – Edghill
Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill Monday assured the National Assembly that all community roads will be addressed under the PPP/C administration but said those works will be determined by the availability of funds as the government seeks to avoid splurging.
“We don’t want to over design and splurge,” Edghill told the House as he defended a request for an additional $3 billion in supplementary funding for community road development.
Edghill said the government intends to “construct every road in every community.” He also said the construction of community roads will be determined through guidance by the residents of the community.
“The government of Guyana wants to fix every road in every community. My mandate is to ensure that that happens.”
“It cost about $80 million per kilometer of road, so this is what we call asphalt concrete road. With the help of the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development and all local authorities, we have engaged in a countrywide exercise where we basically measured, mapped, and designed and costed what it will take to fix every road in every village,” the Public Works Minister said.
He further noted the importance of the ministry engaging with residents in communities before undertaking roadworks. He believes this is important because residents are aware of the roads that are in dire need of work.
According to the Public Works Minister, the ministry is undertaking road construction with the intent of having all roads built to the same quality.
“All roads that are being done by the Ministry of Public Works are done to the same quality in every community, every time, everyplace, the only difference is that it is being done by different contractors,” the Minister explained.
He said the criticism of the quality of roads is “not only an attack on the PPP/C but it is an attack on the professionalism of the engineers at the Ministry of Public Works.” He said that the engineers who worked under the APNU/AFC are the same engineers working under this administration.
Further, he said it is an attack on the professional integrity of the engineers.
In relation to work being done, the minister said “We are literally taking people out of the mud, by giving them footpaths so they will be able to get to the school, their work.”
He said various road works are being done but the challenge of getting roads to every village is difficult due to monetary setbacks. However, he said the ministry has the draft work prepared to build roads when the money becomes available.