The Government has inked a $21.2 billion (US$106.4 million) contract with Indian company – Ashoka Buildcon Limited – to begin the first phase of the highly anticipated Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD) to (Haags Bosch), Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD) road network
The signing ceremony of the new four lane project was held at the Parking lot of Rucamel Shopping Plaza, at the Rupert Craig Highway and Ogle Road intersection, on Friday.
Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, said the massive undertaking is being generously supported by a concessional line of credit through the India EXIM Bank.
Highlighting the numerous projects the government has undertaken to date, Minister Singh emphasised that the new thoroughfare will significantly complement the administration’s comprehensive master plan for Guyana.
“What we are witnessing today, in each and every one of the projects, is the result of visionary leadership,” he emphasised, citing that the fruits of the leadership are not restricted only to roads.
“Our commitment to you is to more aggressively roll-out this agenda for transformation with one objective in mind, to ensure that the life of every single Guyanese person is improved. We want to improve your ability, the ability of our young people to get a good education. We want to ensure that all of the people of Guyana have access to better social services,” Dr. Singh added.
Although the project was on the table for a number of years, the process became dormant since the change of government in 2015. After the PPP/C Government returned to office in August 2020, immediate works commenced to advance the venture.
Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, M.P, said Guyanese must be proud to witness another positive economic explosion.
He disclosed that the 7.8 kilometers four -lane highway will be constructed with sidewalks and a median, while each of the lanes will be built at 3.6 meters wide.
“As you know the volume of the traffic in the country is increasing, so we are addressing that in a long-term perspective. This project… it fits part of connecting the East Coast to the East Bank so that persons who don’t want to go through the city to the airport, they can take an alternative route,” the minister explained.
Meanwhile, Minister of Public Works, Juan Edghill made it clear that nothing will stop the Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali-led administration’s mission to modernise the nation.
“I am happy that today, we are not just talking about plans, but we are actually witnessing the beginning of the execution of a major transformational project that will be signed here today. We have moved Guyana forward.”
Minister Edghill said the intention is to link the Eugene F. Correia International Airport with the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).
The construction of the new road artery will not only develop the country’s infrastructure, but will open up land to meet the needs of the agriculture, housing and oil and gas sectors.
“You cannot transform and modernise a country without putting in road infrastructure. And once infrastructure is put in, it opens up a way for so many things to happen,” he emphasised,while making a clarion call for Guyanese to lock arms together amidst the government’s push for transformation.
Meanwhile, Indian High Commissioner of Guyana, H.E. Dr. K.J. Srinivasa, believes that the initiative will bring long- term benefits to Guyana. He said the bond between the two countries, specifically in the areas of transformative projects, will be strengthened.