…say Infrastructure Ministry turning a blind eyeDrivers utilising the Linden-Lethem Road are calling on the Public Infrastructure Ministry and the other relevant authorities to quickly rehabilitate a section of the roadway from Mabura Police Station to Kurupukari Crossing since it is rapidly deteriorating.The drivers said that the road is almost impassable, resulting in them taking double the amount of time to traverse the area as well as costing them more money in repairs and maintenance of their vehicles. They note that several complaints have been made to the Public Infrastructure Ministry but with very little results.Minibus driver, Terry Ramjohn, told Guyana Times that the road has been in a deplorable state for over one year and he would have personally made complaints to the Ministry, but no one seems to be acting on the information that is being provided. He also provided this publication with several images to support his contention that the road is too deplorable and that the authorities are completely ignoring that.“From Mabura Station to Kurupukari Crossing the whole road is totally bad. For us bus drivers, and truck drivers and the fuel tankers we know the road but for somebody who is using the road for the first time, it is trouble. It does normally take up about three hours to cross that part but now it is almost six hours and these people not doing nothing,” he noted.Another irate man related that many times drivers are forced to remain on the road for several hours while they await help from passing vehicles since they are usually stuck in the slush on the road. Sections of the road are completely covered by water which results in the vehicles being stuck in the loam or severe damage to their engines.“We does have to spend plenty money to service our vehicles because of this road. Everywhere else smooth but from Mabura to Kurupukari it is hell. Now that it is raining and the rainy season is not even here yet it is very hard on us. We are hoping that the Ministry can at least send someone out here so that we can get some relief. They can at least do some repairs before the rainy season come and then everything will get more bad. We are hopeful that they will hear us this time because it is really rough,” he said.Additionally, several persons using the roadway as transportation from Lethem to either Georgetown or Linden for various Government services or even medical treatment have registered their dissatisfaction with the condition of the road. The residents, particularly those of remote Amerindian communities in the Rupununi would have to use the road as their only means of transportation to travel to the city for medical treatment that is not available within the region, since it is too costly for them to take a flight out.Over the last two years, with the increased use of social media and access to the internet, the road users have taken to various social media platforms to post videos and photos to highlight the struggles of accessing one of Guyana’s newest township. They have been calling on the authorities to have the issues addressed and the road upgraded but to date, there has been very little action in that regard.Last year, Government said that the Linden-Lethem road may be realised under the Belt and Road initiative with the Chinese Government. In late July 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) within the framework of China’s Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was signed between the Governments of Guyana and China.The Terms of Reference for the construction of the Linden-Lethem road by the Guyanese and Brazilian Governments is ready. Phase One of the project covers approximately 125 kilometres of the road (Linden to Mabura Hill) and also includes a bridge across the Kurupukari Crossing. Guyana secured funding from the British Government through its UK Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) programme to complete the design.