The government is awaiting the approval of an estimated $24 billion (US$120 million) from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to resurface the Soesdyke-Linden Highway.
Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said the administration is hoping for the financing to be approved in June, to start rehabilitation work along the 72-kilometre-long thoroughfare.
“We are hoping that it would be approved at the Board Meeting in June of this year, so we can start reconstructing that highway before the end of the year,” the Vice President said Sunday, during a meeting with a number of Region 10 residents.
“That is what we are hoping to do, to pave the highway from the junction all the way into Linden. The highway is in a horrible state, it is in a bad state coming up here,” Dr. Jagdeo noted.
The Vice President said while the government was addressing the impact of COVID-19, emphasis was also being placed on developing the country’s infrastructure.
The upgrade to the highway is part of several key plans which the government has outlined for the Upper Demerara-Berbice region.
Within three weeks, residents there will benefit from 800 part-time jobs to enhance their household income. About 200 to 250 small grants will also be distributed to persons desirous of starting or expanding their businesses.
These interventions illustrate government’s determination to advance the living standard of citizens nationwide, the Vice President underscored.
Resident, Cecil Todd lauded the administration’s move to make jobs available to Region 10, citing that unemployment has been an issue for persons residing there.
“This will encourage the youths, it will keep them off the road, they will be able to find something to do beside sporting and drinking.,” Todd expressed.
He also applauded the efforts to pave the highway, adding that, “It has a lot of potholes and it is deteriorating. So, I am happy.”
Justino Simmons of No. 47 Miles, manages his own mechanic shop. He wants to take part in the ongoing effort of creating jobs for residents. He believes that the job opportunity comes at a time when many youths are partaking in negativity activities.
Simmons is hoping to be among those who will receive the grant to expand his business. “I think it’s a good thing, you can expect more but at least they are doing as they promised.”
For Orlando Edwards, the number of jobs that will be created is an amazing move and must be commended.
“It’s very good because we are stressed here for jobs in Region 10 and what he [Vice President] did today, to me it sounds very good, and about the expansion of roads I believe it’s very good, because a lot of time we get a lot of traffic jam. I don’t think they could do everything one time,” Edwards emphasised.