Gov’t stepping in to invest in roads, drainage, infrastructure in Georgetown – GS Dr Jagdeo

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has affirmed that central government is allocating significant funds to support the development of Georgetown, even though many of these projects fall under the purview of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC).

Dr Jagdeo said this during his weekly press conference at Freedom House on Thursday.

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

The GS was at the time updating the media on the government’s plan to discuss the management and maintenance of key infrastructural assets within the city, following the collapse of the Stabroek Market Wharf roof on Tuesday.

President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali visited the site of the collapse, where he stressed the need for better management, and pledged the government’s support for those affected.   

Dr Jagdeo echoed this commitment and pointed out that the dismal state of the structures in the capital city reflects the abject failures of the city council.

“APNU has always controlled the city. But it seems as though every single thing that should be done in the city that by law is part of their mandate, the central government has to take over. And we don’t begrudge that support,” the GS said.

Dr Jagdeo further explained, “The government has undertaken a key responsibility of the city, which is infrastructure, roads. Every road in this city will be done by the central government. That runs into billions of dollars. So for those people who think that the PPP government is punishing the people of this city, we’re not doing that.”

On Tuesday, contracts totalling over $1 billion were inked for the critical projects in Sophia. A total of 29 roads will be upgraded in ‘A’ Field, through the Ministry of Public Works. Similar upgrades are also slated for ‘C’ and ‘D’ Fields.

The GS also pointed to ongoing works funded by the central government in East and West Ruimveldt, Alexander Village, Albouystown and Queenstown, to emphasise the full scope of the government’s development efforts in the capital city.

“The whole city eventually going to be redone, the roads and drainage, etc., So there is no starving of funds for the city,” Dr Jagdeo said.

The government has also undertaken billions of dollars in beautification projects to uplift the livelihoods of residents and return Georgetown to its designation of ‘garden city’.

These include the Kingston Seawall Beautification Project, Independence Boulevard, construction of the ‘Safe Space’ along the Lamaha Corridor, a four-lane carriageway at Cemetery Road, and road works at Delhi Street, Prashad Nagar.

Some 34 community grounds are also being upgraded in Georgetown, which will be outfitted with lights, walkways, and the necessary recreational facilities.

“We have undertaken all the beautification of the city, the sidewalks, the boardwalks, and everything else. It’s being done by the government, the planting of trees,” the general secretary said.

Solid waste management is also high on the government’s agenda, as investments are being poured into alleviating this issue, especially in Georgetown.

In this year’s budget, $2.6 billion has been set aside to advance the solid waste management agenda.

Of this amount, $1.3 billion is proposed for infrastructural, environmental, and capacity-building support through the continued operation of landfill sites and the community clean-up programme.

“We’ve spent $15 million to take the dump site out of the city, where we are now doing the drainage. In the city, we are clearing drains. We are putting additional pumping capacity in the city. What does the city do? So if we’re doing drainage, grounds, beautification, etc., they’re literally doing very little,” the GS pointed out.

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