12 Jan

Leguan resident calls for urgent repairs to stelling

first_imgThree months after Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson announced that rehabilitation works would begin on the Leguan Stelling in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), residents on the island are voicing their displeasure at having to traverse the same deteriorating structure as they travel to various locales via the Essequibo River.The deteriorating Leguan Ferry Stelling, as seen in June 2018The residents’ expressions of disgruntlement come two weeks after Government announced that the contract for the works has been handed out.The island’s inhabitants are berating the prolonged time the rehabilitation is taking to begin, their already having stated previously that the structure is on the verge of collapsing.In June, 2018, when Guyana Times visited Leguan, several residents — and even visitors – were expressing gross dissatisfaction with the state of the stelling. At that time, rotten timber planks were seen supporting the structure, and residents were apprehensive about heavy vehicles traversing the stelling. The decking then had been loose and uneven, and rails at certain sections of the ramp were hanging on to literally nothing.Speaking recently to this newspaper, rice farmer Jainarine Singh related that the rehabilitation works were still to commence.He added that several additional boards on the stelling had become uneven, causing danger to lives. The stelling is vital to the economic sustenance of the island, as farmers use the facility to transport their produce onto ferry vessels.Another resident, Hans Buer, told this newspaper that he had on numerous occasions raised the issue of the stelling with Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, and this had resulted in the Minister responding to him on social media with a promise to have it fixed.He said the stelling had been in that deplorable state for over one and a half years, and rapid deterioration is ongoing.At a recent press briefing, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, told the media that a contract for the stelling’s rehabilitation has been awarded to Maraj Contracting Services. Harmon observed that the contract is worth $413.2 million.Residents had previously stated that the concrete-post-and-wood-decking stelling served no purpose, and residents were calling for a fully concrete stelling.“Laden vehicles cannot use the lower ramp because it will fall out. The decking is unlevel. You can fall. When the boat comes in at nights, it is horrible, because the stelling has no lights, passengers fall over the little rails, and some of the boards on the decking have holes,” resident Buer had noted in June.Guyana Times had also reported that the lower ramp used to load and off-load laden vehicles onto the ferry was in such a deplorable state that vehicles were unable to access it.Vehicles had to wait until the tide was high enough for them to access the high ramp to load or offload, which affects the business community, since critical goods could not be delivered in time and farmers’ produce would perish.last_img read more