Letter: Shameless and vulgar action by Christopher Jones

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Dear Editor,

I stumbled on a social media post purportedly by the Opposition Chief Whip, Mr Christopher Jones, alleging “Full Foolishness on Mandela Road Project”.

For the record, the PPP/C Government inherited a failed, mismanaged, non-implementing project when it came to office in August 2020. We re-revived, reenergised and remobilised the contractor, and it’s obvious for all to see the inconveniences that motorists are currently experiencing that work is moving at a pace. I thank Mr Jones for highlighting progress and admiring the successes of the PPP/C in getting this project delivered to the Guyanese people.

A four-lane road must have medians. A median is intended to provide a uniform barrier to the unsafe openings and is non-discriminatory in nature. All properties, businesses, religious and recreational facilities are treated in the same manner with the installation of the median. They are no exceptions, given that safety to all road users is our number one priority. The online video alleges that there is some intent to kill the business of Mr James’ Rubis Gas Station.

Mr James wrote the Ministry requesting a review of an opening to facilitate his business and users of the Post Office. He was engaged by the Ministry of Public Works; a site visit was conducted and he was satisfied with the outcomes. For the record, had the APNU/AFC remained in Office, the design of the median and the safe opening with traffic lights would have been exactly what is taking place since the were no changes to the design since the PPP/C took office. For Mr Jones to cry foolishness, he is clearly highlighting his displeasure with the mismanagement of the APNU/AFC while they were in office.

Public consultations on the project design and road changes were made, including the main consultation at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School. The entire project was drawn and posted on the auditorium walls. Both Ministry officials and consultants were present to address any concerns or comments from stakeholders, but this was 2013, a period when the PPP/C governed and engaged in stakeholder consultation rather than pandering to the elite and privileged few, as we see with the several changes made during the APNU/AFC tenure to accommodate special interests.

In every part of the world, medians are desirable and are used on highways carrying four or more lanes and safe openings regulated by traffic lights to facilitate the flow of traffic. In Guyana, it is no different. Check all the highways that we built, four-lanes, and they all have medians. The APNU/AFC’s spokesman is looking to steal headlines and acquire some amount of relevance.

This silliness and attempt to agitate the residents of South Georgetown must be seen for what it is, shameless and vulgar.

The four-lane coming from Diamond connecting at the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School turn will be accommodated by a roundabout, providing residents of South Georgetown with better access, more connections, and safer use of our roadways. When there is development, there are always changes.

The PPP/C commits to the development of Guyana in a non-discriminatory people-centred, and engaging manner.

Is this entire episode based on self-interest?
Is Mr Jones not a resident in the Tucville area?

Sincerely,
Bishop Juan A Edghill
Minister of Public Works