Gov’t will not tolerate mediocrity – Min. Edghill tells contractors

As the completion date for the rehabilitation of the 32 bridges along the Kurupukari to Lethem stretch draws near, Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill has reiterated the government’s zero-tolerance policy for lagging work or underperformance.

On Monday, Minister Edghill visited and inspected works on bridges along the corridor, and expressed his dissatisfaction with the pace of works.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill and engineers during the inspection on Monday

The public works minister highlighted that many of these projects are stalled, due to underperformance by contractors.

“In some cases, neither the contractor nor the workers were on-site to meet with me and explain what is going on. It is highly disrespectful for a contractor to sign a contract with my ministry and they are not on-site to meet with the minister. It is clear that some people want to do work at their own pace, but mediocrity will not be condoned in any way,” Minister Edghill asserted.

To this end, these contractors will be given specific instructions regarding expediting these works to meet the completion date.

“It is either they follow these instructions, or they walk,” the minister said.

The contracts for these works were awarded in April 2022, and are scheduled for completion at the end of the year.

The minister noted that some works are farther along than others, and commended those contractors who seem to be adhering to the allotted period, stressing the importance of having the work completed so that Guyanese can benefit.

“There is no time that I will tolerate contractors showing disrespect, disregard for instructions, and moving at their own pace because while they are complaining, there are people who are waiting for work,” he underscored.

The government through the public works ministry signed multiple contracts to rehabilitate some 45 bridges along the Linden-Lethem stretch.

These works are set to encourage economic activity and foster continued hinterland development through interconnectivity. It forms part of the administration’s agenda to expand infrastructural development across the country.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill and engineers during the inspection on Monday

The upgrades are being done in two phases, the first phase being the 32 bridges from Kurupukari to Lethem Corridor and the second, which includes 13 bridges, from Mabura to Kurupukari.

The contracts for the 13 bridges from Mabura to Kurupukari were signed in December 2022, and these bridges are set to be converted into concrete structures.

Meanwhile, the contracts totalling $3.19 billion for 32 bridges between Kurupukari and Lethem will see the wooden bridges being converted into concrete structures.

The bridges are being rehabilitated in several areas along the Linden to Lethem trail, including Surama, Iwokrama, Annai, and Yakarinta.

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