first_imgDear Editor,Please allow me space in the letter columns to express concern as well as to educate your readers about the level of misinformation being peddled by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure as it relates to the “successes” of this Ministry.The undisputed fact is that since the APNU/AFC Granger-led Administration assumed office, no new transformational or major infrastructural project has been undertaken. All that has been reported are projects started by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration pre-May 2015, and in some instances funding moblised awaiting contract awards for execution.Let me specifically refer to a number of projects, such as: The Cheddi Jagan International Airport, the East Bank four-lane highway, the West Coast Demerara road (Vreed-en-Hoop to Ruby), the East Coast four-lane highway and upgrade (Better Hope to Belfield), the East Bank Berbice road, the Sheriff Street/Mandela Avenue upgrade, the road link between East Coast and East Bank, the Guyana Power and Light power utility upgrade project (GPL’s PUUP funded by the EU/IDB), new ferry to be funded by India, the Linden-to-Lethem road, and the Kurupukari crossing. These are all projects that were in the pipeline at different stages.Therefore, I urge all Guyanese not to be fooled by the propaganda lines and sound bites being peddled by the current Administration. The only new developments in this sector are the corruption and non-compliance with procurement processes, sole-sourcing of contracts to friends and cronies, and the heavy over-reliance on the force account unit.The New Demerara River Crossing was at the pre-feasibility stage when the PPP/C demitted office in May 2015. The country is now aware that the feasibility study was sole-sourced to a preferred contractor even after more than a dozen firms had submitted bid proposals in response to a public advertisement. How this is possible only the Ministry of Public Infrastructure knows.The Wind Farm proposal was around pre-May 2015, and discussions were ongoing about the cost that would entail in a power purchase agreement, feeding into the national grid, and developing real capacity. However, the boast of the current Administration as it relates to this project is that a political investor, a publicly declared AFC financier, is the preferred investor. We are not aware of the cost to purchase electricity, and there are a number of other unknowns relative to this project.Maintenance of roads and bridges, maintenance of hinterland roads and bridges, maintenance of highways, maintenance of streetlights, maintenance of ferry vessels, maintenance of interior airstrips, maintenance of wharves and stellings, and maintenance of river and sea defences are all routine tasks of the Public Infrastructure Ministry (PIM); and in some instances, these declared programmes were not executed as confirmed by the Minister when he declared a 73% completion of the capital projects for 2017. Yet the PIM is claiming a highly successful year.Editor, Government collects taxes, and is expected to provide goods and services to its citizens. It is obvious that the APNU+AFC Government specialises in the collecting of taxes, and is still learning how to deliver goods and services to the taxpayers. This unscrupulous approach of selling propaganda through public relations blitz is a failed method that is seen and experienced by all Guyanese.It is in this environment of boast by the Minister of Public Infrastructure that Guyanese are yet to be assured of the short-term, medium-term, or even a workable long-term solution to ensuring cheap, reliable and renewable electricity.We all suffered the indignities of constant blackout during the entire year, and even during the festive season — Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.Guyanese deserve more, so we demand more of this Administration.Sincerely,Juan Edghill, PPP/CMPlast_img

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