KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Vincentian motorists and pedestrians can expect some improvements in the road network as the government releases EC$5 million for the National Road-Patching Programme.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said on Friday that he is aware of the challenges arising from state of the nation’s roads but added that his government was doing the best it could with limited resources.
“I want to indicate to the travelling public that I know that many of the roads are not in a good condition. I may say — and it is not any comfort to tell you — that the roads here seem in a better condition than most, if not all, of our neighbours,” Gonsalves
“And we have had real problems with rains, the very construction of the roads — many of them which were done are old, and the traffic which is on them,” Gonsalves said.
“The $5 million, that’s not going to do the patching or resurfacing of every piece of road throughout the country which is required to be done. But, even if I have $10 million to provide there rather than $5 million, the $10 million would not be done before the end of the year,” Gonsalves said.
He further said that he hopes the $5 million released to the Roads, Building and General Services Authority (BRAGSA) for the road repairs would generate employment.
“I am hoping that a number of persons who work on the roads will get some road jobs and those in the construction companies,” Gonsalves said.
“We are hoping to see improvement on the roads and I want to remind motorists that this is an expensive business in fixing roads, very expensive business. And that we can find $5 million to be working at this time it’s a very strong indication of what we feel about the condition of the roads and how we must improve them,” he further added.
Meanwhile, the government has received $3 million from the government of Taiwan to finance several projects across the country.
Gonsalves said that the monies, from the Civil Development Fund, would go to the YES programme, the Cumberland sporting facility, buy outboard motors for the coastguard, the irrigation and management consolidation programme, the fencing of the API building, the upgrading of Liberty Lodge Boys Training Centre, renovation of Montrose Police Station and improvements at Government Printery.