By Isaiah Braithwaite
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (DPI) – Guyana’s development is expected to be accelerated with a whopping $96.1 billion budget for the country’s infrastructure.
The money proposed will cater for the present and future needs of Guyanese, minister of public works, Bishop Juan Edghill, during a recent interview, said of the budgeted sum for the ministry, $76.7 billion will go towards the development of roads and bridges.
He said the budget will facilitate the upgrade of the highway from Palmyra to Moleson Creek, which has outgrown its capacity with the increase in the volume and type of traffic. And with the construction of the Corentyne River Bridge, there will be a further increase in the volume of traffic from both Suriname and French Guiana. The sum of $8.3 billion has been budgeted for that purpose. In addition, $6 billion has been proposed to commence works for the construction of the Linden-Mabura Hill Road. This is coupled with the $4.1 billion allocated for the re-construction of several bridges along the Kurupukari to Lethem corridor.
“Often time we would see photographs of these bridges being washed away with heavy rain or being broken because of laden trucks. We are moving out those timber bridges and we are putting in world-class approved concrete bridges with utility corridors. The design has been approved through a consultancy,” minister Edghill stated.
It was also highlighted that $2.3 billion has been budgeted for the East Bank-East Coast Demerara Road linkage between Ogle and Eccles, along with $2.1 billion to commence the widening and paving of the East Bank Highway from Grove to Timehri. Further, minister Edghill said, funding is also available to advance works on the Del Conte Road. Budget 2022 also caters for the rehabilitation of the entire Soesdyke-Linden Highway at a cost of $2.6 billion.
“The people of Linden must know that their safety and wellbeing is being catered for in budget 2022, because they must be able to drive the Linden/ Soesdyke highway with an understanding it will be more stable. There will be geometric improvements, the bridge at Bamia must be adequately fixed and the erosion must be curbed so they could be safe going and coming,” the minister said.
He noted the major investments to come on farm to market roads, which will create better access for farmers and open up new lands.
Meanwhile, minister Edghill said the budget for urban roads in 2021 was $8 billion. This saw the rehabilitation of over 450 roads across the country. Some $15.2 billion is budgeted in 2022 for urban roads.
“This budget with $15.2 billion available for community and urban roads means that the letters that I have been getting, the WhatsApp messages that I have been getting, the NDCs that have been making representation, the young professionals who built their home and are sending me pictures of how the road looks, we will be able to attend to those community and urban roads,” he stated.
The 2022 National Budget was presented on Wednesday by senior minister in the office of the president with responsibility for finance, Dr Ashni Singh under the theme ‘Steadfast against all challenges; resolute in building our one Guyana.’