Govt mulls toll for drivers using Amaila Fall access road

first_imgWhile a road user’s agreement was in place that allowed Government to recoup money from operators, who damaged hinterland roads, more direct charges are being contemplated, targeted at sustaining a steady flow of cash for road maintenance.This is the case at least with the Amaila Falls road, which is located in Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni). At a recent post-Cabinet press conference, Infrastructure Minister David Patterson zoomed in on Australian mining company Troy Resources.“The primary user of the road, obviously, would be Troy Resources. There are some other miners that would use the road. We’ll be looking to have a road-users agreement to charge users to ensure that we can get the funds to maintain it.”“It is in a reasonably passable condition at the moment. No one is maintaining or regulating it at the moment,” Patterson added. “But we’re looking to put in the road users agreement shortly.”A section of the Amaila Falls access roadIt was only a few days ago that plans were announced to fix the already deplorable Linden-Lethem trail, one of those roads rendered almost impassable partly by heavy-duty transit. In fact, it was pointed out that, almost daily, vehicles are overturning along the trail, with the most recent incident being last week.Commuters had complained bitterly about the condition of the roads, and had called on Government to intervene and repair the sections that are almost impassable. More recently, small operators have called on authorities to suspend heavy-duty vehicles from traversing the trail, since those vehicles are further damaging the roads.The Public Infrastructure Ministry has in the past complained about the “significant” sums of monies that have been expended in the hinterland regions for the rehabilitation of roadways. It had previously cited the $54.5 million was spent in 2016 to repair the Puruni-Itaballi corridor. Furthermore, in 2017, $100 million was allocated to improve the Puruni-Pappishou corridor.The Ministry had said that its efforts are being counteracted by operators of private mining or mining-related businesses, who choose to use overladen trucks on the roads and engage in other forms of misuse.They had also pointed out that the misuse of these roads is in contravention of the Road Users’ Agreement with the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), the Public Infrastructure Ministry, and the Natural Resources Ministry.“While the agreement notes that the Government of Guyana will use its best efforts to keep the road maintained in good condition at all times, road users must play their part by adhering to stipulations such as the prohibition of vehicles weighing more than 60 tons crossing Itaballi-Puruni bridges. Additionally, the agreement notes that users shall be liable to Government for any damage to Government’s property caused by the negligent use of the roadways by their employees and/or their agents.”last_img read more

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