Linden to Lethem road woesEven as businesses, residents and other users of the Linden to Lethem road continue to fume over the deplorable state of the road, the Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) Chairman, Bonaventure Fredericks, has admitted that there is a need for competent contractors to execute these much-needed road works.The deplorable condition of a section of the Linden to Lethem roadIn an interview with Guyana Times on Monday, Fredericks pointed out that oftentimes, these road work contracts are awarded to inexperienced contractors who may not possess the necessary knowledge for building all-weather roads.“We need to have contractors that are knowledgeable about road building and who knows what type of materials to use to for all-weather road. But we have people that may have a truck or two and then they just go and throw stuff and then it’s not compacted and it’s not properly done and we’re back to square one again. Just days ago, the Ministry spend $4 million to repair certain sections of the said [road] and look at the condition of it again,” Fredericks added.He, however, noted that this responsibility of road works and awarding of contracts for such works falls primarily under the purview of the Public Infrastructure Ministry. He added that despite calls by the Regional Administration for funds to be available within its budget for executing regular maintenance works, they have been told by the MOPI that the maintenance of all roads and bridges across the country falls under their Ministry.“So if there’s any work to be done, the Ministry has to be contacted before anything can be done and this can be a very time-consuming process. We had this problem and we are still having it,” he said. “It’s kind of disturbing when we have these types of emergencies to work on and then we have to wait on Ministry to do what has to be done. We [do] not have that type of go-ahead from our Administration to say when an emergency comes up we get into it right away, we have to wait on the Ministry and while the waiting period is on, the residents suffer and that is what I’m not too happy about… that type of slow movements that happens while people suffer,” Fredericks added.Further, Fredericks stated that the Ministry has been selecting the contractors for those works. They also have an engineer on the ground who checks on these works when completed.“We need to understand that even though they may have these engineers I keep saying that some of them they may have their certificates and their diplomas and they only know the theory but now that they have to do the practical, they really can’t manage but we are the ones here who understand what’s happening. We are not getting our full value for what is being spent because I remember hearing that the Ministry spend $4 mil to do that piece of road a few days ago and look how it is now and we still not where we want to be,” he said.Fredericks explained that the recent road works were completed by a businessman who is not a contractor but has equipment that could have assisted. “This was a miner that does mining that they [Ministry] asked to do the work because they have the equipment; they have truck, bulldozers, excavators and they asked him to do it. He is not a road contractor. The Ministry hasn’t dispatched a team to do the work or anything of that sort,” he added.Chairman Fredericks also highlighted that the stretch of road going to Lethem is in a deplorable state. “It’s terrible there. I was assisting some of the very bus men traversing the road in getting their buses out of the pools they were in because I went with a 4×4 pick-up and I was able to help them,” he said.Fredericks also pointed out that no response was received from the MOPI in relation to the recent reports of the road while adding that most of the contact with the Ministry is done through their engineer and the regional authorities have no information if measures are to be taken if the Ministry’s engineer on the ground does not report to them .“So if the engineer does not report back to us we do not know what next steps are. They keep blaming the weather because, with the rainy weather nothing much can be done even though it is true to an extent people still have to live, we have to get food we have to get fuel we have to get stuff into our region. It doesn’t make sense waiting on the weather when work can be done,” he said.On Sunday minibus operators and residents once again complained that the road is in a deplorable condition after only recently being repaired. They expressed frustration over the situation, which continues to create hardships for them and blamed the authorities for giving road contracts to “fly by night” contractors that do not possess the relevant knowledge or equipment to do the job.The Administration was accused of giving contracts to party people that do not even own a spade or a shovel. “They are giving these contracts to persons that don’t have tools and what happens is that the contractors receive the money to do nothing and residents are left to suffer the consequence and nobody cares,” Councillor and resident of Mahdia said.