Several opportunities for locals will be made available now that the Guyana Government has signed a US$50M concessional loan agreement with the Indian Government to build a major road linking the East Bank Demerara (EBD) to the East Coast Demerara (ECD), according to Public Infrastructure Minister, David Patterson.
The project which is expected to be financed through the EXIM Bank of India, is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and will see improvements for commuters and an ease in the traffic congestion on the present roadways.
INews was told that this loan will cater for the first phase of the major road project that had begun under the former PPP/C government but which dates back to the early 1970’s.
Meanwhile, the documentation process and the finalisation of a road design is yet to be completed, however, this is expected to be done within a short period of time.
Following this, construction is expected to commence before the end of 2016 and will most likely continue for a year and six months.
Minister Patterson explained that during the first phase of the project, there will be a four-lane road being built and two of these lanes will be fully paved.
As a result of this project being funded through the Indian Government, the construction contract is open to Indian companies, however, local contractors can and will be able to benefit from the several sub-contracts that will become available with the project in a number of areas.
According to Finance Minister, Winston Jordan, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Government of Guyana, the two governments have shared strong bilateral relations for many years since Guyana became independent.
He posited that at present, India is one of the largest bilateral donors and that at a time when concessionary resources are dwindling, Guyana has been able to rely on India.
“At a time when we have extreme demands for accelerating our development, India has continued to be a reliable partner in development”, the Finance Minister noted.
Minister Jordan stated that this road project is of high importance to Guyana, since the construction of new roads supports the development of new communities and the establishment of businesses and other activities that will reap rewards for the country’s economic sustainability.
High Commissioner of India to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam said that his government is pleased with its role in the project. He added that following the inking of the contract important phases will commence.