Guyana/Surinamese bridge talks active – Patterson

first_imgThe Public Infrastructure Ministry has recommenced talks with its Surinamese counterparts on the much-anticipated bridge which will link the two countries.In an interview with this publication on Tuesday, the subject Minister, David Patterson, explained that the technical aspect of the project is currently being discussed while details are yet to be sorted out with regards to the project’s “foreign affairs” aspect.Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson“It’s an existing MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) that was signed under the previous Administration that we are working with so there’s a working group with the Surinamese and our Ministry on the technical details and that has been ongoing”.Patterson added, “Of course there are not only technical details, it’s a bilateral component which has to go through Foreign Affairs so I am dealing with the technical details of it but the bilateral agreement will have to go through Foreign Affairs”.He explained that the Guyanese Government has been working closely with its Surinamese counterparts on this project and usually meets about twice annually to discuss progress.The Minister admitted that progress has been slow even as he was hesitant to say whether the groups have met for this year.The bridge had been in the works for a number of years under the PPP/C Administration with both countries looking to capitalise on the current brisk trade expected to increase manyfold when the structure becomes operational.MV CanawaimaThe bridge, according to Patterson, will have a similar arrangement as the Guyana-Suriname Ferry in that it is jointly owned. This, he explained, would, therefore, mean that the project will pass through several stages before it can be completed.As a result, he was unable to say when a contract would be inked to allow these works to commence. There are reports that the bridge is likely to be erected at Moleson Creek or Orealla.In May, several passengers were left stranded after the ferry, which plies the Guyana to Suriname, route encountered mechanical issues.The Guyana-Suriname Ferry CrossingThe vessel, MV Canawaima, officially suspended its services on May 27. The Minister had explained that the vessel was being powered by a tug for some time, which encountered some issues.The ferry’s services still remain in limbo as this newspaper understands that parts are yet to be sourced to rectify the vessel’s issues.The Canawaima Ferry Service Inc was introduced to Guyana on October 28, 1998, under the Companies Act Number 29 of 1991 of the Laws of Guyana. It is jointly owned by the Governments of Guyana and Suriname as each country owns 50 per cent of the issued share capital.last_img

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