In a continued effort to curb the issue of drivers not adhering to road limits on hinterland roads, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure will soon be installing vehicle scales along roadways in interior locations.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson said, “I do foresee us addressing this issue in the near future. My ministry has some modern scales which I will like to put in place. But the challenge with that is that it’s the interior so I have to situate them near police stations. It will not be ideal to have technicians or persons stopping truck drivers who may not wish to stop, so it has to be by a police station.”
The minister further explained to the Department of Public Information (DPI) that this move will eventually see new police outposts established along the hinterland roads. “Where the current police stations are located, they are not geared not for stopping traffic on the road; they are placed for policing work in your communities.”
Minister Patterson disclosed that the relevant authorities have already been engaged and appealed to drivers to be extremely careful on hinterland roads.
Drivers are urged to adhere to rules and avoid travelling while overweight. Residents are also being called on to be vigilant and report overweight vehicles.
A sum of $1.5Billion was allocated in the 2018 Budget for road rehabilitation as well as the completion of all rollover projects.
Government’s announcement of instituting scales comes on the heels of calls by truckers and even the Guyana Manufacturing and Service Association (GMSA) to address the worsening conditions of interior roads.
Moreover, the GMSA had called on Government to take urgent action to repair and maintain interior roads and for there to be a comprehensive programme of ongoing maintenance to ensure quality and standard is maintained.
Small, Medium, and Large Scale Logging companies are experiencing one of the worst periods with significant losses of revenue because of rainy conditions and deplorable interior roads.
Across the regions of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice, the hinterland road conditions have significantly worsened due to an extended rainy season.
The GMSA said that the failure to maintain the interior roads prior to the rainy season, has led to further crisis and has placed a very bleak outlook for many industries including forestry, mining, tourism, and trade.
According to the Association “at least 100,000 m3 of logs destined for delivery to markets cannot be transported. As a consequence many value-added manufacturers are complaining about the lack of raw material which is affecting exports. This unfortunate situation has resulted in significant social and economic impacts. Some companies have had to completely stop production.”
The Guyana Manufacturing and Service Association explained that as much as 30 per cent of the cost of production in the forestry sector is transport oriented and the poor state of interior forest roads is one of the most prominent issues affecting the sector.