Mah­dia in­fra­struc­ture works near­ing com­ple­tion

Stabroek News Sunday - - NEWS -

Six projects cur­rently be­ing ex­e­cuted by the Min­istry of Public In­fra­struc­ture in Re­gion Eight are due for com­ple­tion in the com­ing weeks and Min­is­ter of Public In­fra­struc­ture David Pat­ter­son says fo­cus will then be turned to the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of 10 kilo­me­tres of road­way be­tween Cas­san­dra Point and the Den­ham Bridge.

Pat­ter­son made the an­nounce­ment dur­ing a visit to Mah­dia on Fri­day, where he ex­am­ined on­go­ing and re­cently com­pleted works.

Ac­cord­ing to a min­istry state­ment that was is­sued yes­ter­day, six projects are be­ing ex­e­cuted within the re­gion: the con­struc­tion of Mah­dia Com­mu­nity Roads; the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of roads and drains at the Po­taro Main Ac­cess Road– Mah­dia to Den­ham Bridge; re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of roads and drains in Mah­dia; re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion/con­struc­tion of Brian Su­cre Junc­tion to Mah­dia; re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion/con­struc­tion of Ea­gle Moun­tain Foot/Stone Hill to Kon­awaruk Junc­tion (Phase 1); and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Mile 78 to Cas­san­dra Cross­ing.

These projects are all sched­uled to con­clude within the com­ing weeks, the state­ment said, while ad­ding that Pat­ter­son in­di­cated that the fo­cus will be turned to the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of 10 kilo­me­tres of road­way be­tween Cas­san­dra Point and the Den­ham Bridge. This stretch is im­por­tant, the state­ment noted, since it serves as a link be­tween Bar­tica and Mah­dia. Works on the stretch could com­mence in 2019, it added.

“It is our hope to bring greater re­lief and so we will be do­ing an­other 500 me­tres of road­way in Re­gion Eight this year,” Pat­ter­son was quoted as say­ing.

He also em­pha­sised that while the min­istry is keen on pro­vid­ing its help, the re­gional ad­min­is­tra­tion and the pri­vate sec­tor also have roles to play in push­ing for de­vel­op­ment within Re­gion Eight.

Mean­while, the state­ment said Pat­ter­son met with the board of the Mah­dia Power & Light Com­pany (MPL) and its mem­bers pro­vided a progress re­port on the com­pany’s per­for­mance for this year thus far, in­clud­ing its in­come, ex­pen­di­ture, and col­lec­tion rates. The chair­man of the board also high­lighted some of the chal­lenges be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by the com­pany.

Pat­ter­son was re­ported to have ex­pressed con­cern over the col­lec­tion rates, which typ­i­cally peaked at 70%.

It was ex­plained to the MPI team that res­i­dents are of­ten in ar­rears.

In re­sponse, Pat­ter­son em­pha­sised that MPL is a busi­ness and must there­fore act ac­cord­ingly to im­prove its re­li­a­bil­ity and over­all ser­vice to con­sumers.

“We can­not have a power com­pany op­er­at­ing as a so­cial ser­vice…you will al­ways be in a se­vere deficit,” he said. “A com­pany op­er­at­ing like this will run into se­ri­ous prob­lems,” he added, while not­ing that it is im­por­tant to main­tain a cer­tain stan­dard where the res­i­dents up­hold their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Pat­ter­son was ac­com­pa­nied on the visit by Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary Ken­neth Jor­dan, Chief Roads and Bridges Of­fi­cer Ron Ra­haman and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of the Hin­ter­land Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion Com­pany Inc. Ho­race Wil­liams. Min­is­ter of Busi­ness Dominic Gaskin and two rep­re­sen­ta­tives of his min­istry were also present for the visit.

On­go­ing work as part of the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of roads in Mah­dia (MPI photo)

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