His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali said that along with the many infrastructural improvements, the East Bank Corridor will also be a reservoir for job creation.
Speaking at the official opening ceremony of the Mocha to Diamond Interlink Road on the East Bank of Demerara, the Head of State said that the new road would not only serve as an auxiliary route for commuters but as a transit point for scores of workers.
“This area will be a reservoir for job creation also. We will have more than 300-400 acres of land developed specifically for industrial development, and then we have commercial development.”
The President said that these developments will see the creation of “hundreds, if not thousands” of jobs along the East Bank corridor.
“So this road, whilst it is permanent in nature, is a stop-gap for what is coming.”
President Ali said that the total investment for the road from start to finish is pegged at $5bn. However, the construction of a major highway from Mandela Avenue to Eccles will round off the total investment on the East Bank corridor to $16bn.
Plans are also in place to connect Eccles on the East Bank to Ogle on the East Coast of Demerara.
“There is a new expansion from Ogle that will also start next year; that initially will come to Eccles and then further on to Diamond and Timehri.”
The President said that these projects are being done in anticipation of the imminent growth in traffic and to significantly ease congestion with good infrastructure and urban planning.
SAFE ROAD USE
The Head of State implored persons to use the road safely and indicated that there would be technological infrastructure to ensure this.
“With the Guyana Police Force and the Ministry [of Housing and Water], we have designed a safe road usage plan. And in that plan along this road, we envision three police outposts—two of those outposts are already in place. The next phase, which will be very soon, is to connect cameras to those outposts.”
Cameras are currently being tested, and according to the President, they will not only record drivers’ speed but also capture whether they are wearing seatbelts. He also said that amendments will be made to the law to allow for electronic tickets and strong enforcement.
The President said he observed many persons living in the vicinity of the road use it to exercise. As a result, he has asked the Ministry of Housing’s Director of Projects to make a jogging path, since health and wellness are integral to development and sustainability.
CONTINUOUS AGGRESSIVE WORK
The President also stated that his Government intends to deliver on “every single commitment we made when people elected us”.
To this end, he said that there is still a lot more work to be done this year. President Ali was joined by the Minister of Housing and Water, the Honourable Collin Croal; the Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, the Honourable Susan Rodrigues and the Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, the Honourable Kwame McCoy and other government officials for the commissioning.