268 Berbice road contracts, valued $8.6 billion, signed

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268 contracts totalling $8.6 billion were on Friday signed for repairs to roads across Region Six (East Berbice – Corentyne) that are in a deplorable state.

The contracts are a result of complaints received by the government during visits to the locality, Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said while addressing a public outreach held at the Albion Sports Complex.

Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo addressing the public outreach

These complaints were noted by the government and a decision was made to have some 300 roads and streets done within the region with the assistance of the Ministry of Public Works. 

“The biggest complaint was about roads when we came here…the entire Berbice. Almost 10 years, very little has been invested in community type infrastructure. This is part of a policy to de-emphasize capital works. We made it clear that any oil money has to go to capital expansion, schools, roads etc,” Jagdeo said.

Over 200 contractors, big and small, were awarded the contracts to execute the road works but Jagdeo believes that there exists a limited number of contractors to execute projects.

A section of the gathering

“So even when, sometimes we get shoddy work, people say why are you giving him another project but that contractor might be the only one bidding, so we had to come up with a solution for roads,” Jagdeo said.

The decision taken to encourage more bidding for road projects is to construct concrete, instead of asphaltic roads, as the construction of concrete roads require minimal skills and less supervision.

Jagdeo urged the contractors to execute the projects according to requirements or risk not being awarded future contracts.

“If you have to put 2 inches of crusher run, please put 2 inch, if you have to use a particular guage … please use it … if when we test that and none are not met, you are not getting another contract because the people will suffer,” he said. 

He also urged the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) to ensure that proper work is done.

Several ministers of government and regional officials were present along with contractors were all present at the outreach.

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