Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill has lashed out at the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) over its continuous laid-back approach to managing the affairs of the capital.
According to the Minister, the M&CC is failing miserably in performing its tasks and is not taking responsibilities for its lack of action.
“It would appear at this time that City Hall is comfortable to throw back and leave everything to the Ministry of Public Works,” Edghill expressed.
He was at the time delivering remarks during the commissioning of the new Owen and McDougall Streets in Campbellville, Georgetown.
The Minister pointed out that Central Government took up this task, even though City Hall should have been responsible for such tasks.
“In the real construct of things, Central Government is to take care of the main thoroughfare, City Government is to take care of internal roads, so if you put it this way, this road that we’re commissioning is a road that the City was supposed to be doing and is because they’re not doing it, we had to step in and do these kinds of work.”
In fact, the Minister explained that he had engaged five contractors to carry road maintenance works in the city, due to the recent rainy weather which led to the deterioration of many roadways. He said Central Government was forced to step in because the M&CC was not doing anything to address the situation.
Edghill reminded too that Central Government had to take over the management of the city’s pumps and sluices after City Hall failed in its duties to have them working efficiently during the recent inclement weather.
“Central Government will not sit and play the blame game…and then doing nothing and the people suffering. But at the same time, we have to tell City Hall up your game, people are paying taxes, you are getting government subventions, you have to provide some amount of service to the people of the city,” Edghill contended.
“We just can’t keep having a group of people sitting there collecting money, paying salaries and services are not coming and then the complaint is what the Government doing,” he added.
Meanwhile, the upgrade to the Owen and McDougall Streets was conducted to the tune of $39.5M and the project lasted some five months.
The contract was awarded to a resident of the area, Zahir Khan of XL Engineering.
The upgrades include the widening of the road as well as reinforced drainage and the inclusion of speed bumps.
Minister Edghill said he is very pleased with the construction of the road and encouraged residents to maintain the infrastructure.
Moreover, the Minister said his Ministry as well as the Ministry of Local Government will continue to work with the Neighborhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in order to address various problems in their respective communities.