East Coast residents welcome consultation on Railway Embankment road project

The transparent and open discussions by Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill on the expansion of the East Coast Railway Embankment Road were welcomed by residents on Saturday.

The meeting was held at the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute at Cove and John, by Minister Edghill, the contracting company, China Railway First Group (Guyana) Incorporated, and its engineering team, Beston Consulting Incorporated.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill at the consultation

During the consultation, residents were allowed to share their concerns and seek clarity on the multi-million-dollar undertaking.

Ryan Hoyte is thankful for the engagement since he did not fully understand what the project entails.

“Based on what the minister said, I now feel comfortable and relieved. I am happy that I came to the meeting and I got the opportunity to express myself. I also appreciate what he said that he will do for us,” Hoyte told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

Ryan Hoyte raising his concern at the consultation

Another resident, Lennox Josiah noted that the infrastructure work will significantly help commuters who frequently use the road.

“I think this is wonderful what the minister is doing. This is the way to push forward because it will see great development in the country,” stated Josiah.

Representing the Haslington/Grove Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Chairman, Michael Spencer applauded the minister for the present interventions and the commitment he made to help residents who are living on the government’s reserve.

Minister Edghill engages residents during the consultation on Saturday

“It’s a good initiative for the minister to come and talk to us. It’s also a plus for him helping the residents,” the chairman stated.

Minister Edghill noted that it is the government’s policy and the contractual obligation, to consult with residents and stakeholders about any project.

“The beneficiaries must be able to know what the project entails, and the scope of the project. So, while the project is being executed, they must be able to look and observe that what is to be done, is actually being done,” the minister stressed.

He assured the residents living on the reserve that they will not be displaced and encouraged them to cooperate with the government, so that alternative areas can be identified to facilitate the continuation of their businesses.

Some of the residents at the meeting

“In order for us to have development in Guyana we have to cooperate. You understand what we are trying to do, we understand your plight, your challenges, and your difficulties, we talk it through and we find a suitable way to get the project going, and make sure your livelihood is not interrupted unjustly,” the public works minister emphasised.

Phase two of the project which costs some US $192 million includes extension of the Railway Embankment Road into four lanes from Sheriff Street to Orange Nassau, extension of the main East Coast Roadway from Orange Nassau to Mahaica, as well as rehabilitation of the existing East Coast Demerara road from Belfield to Orange Nassau which will allow for additional lanes.

This phase will also see the construction of bridges and culverts and another bridge across the Hope Canal.

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