Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 20, 2016 (SKNIS): The maintenance of roads and buildings in the Federation continue to be high on the agenda for the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis said the Honourable Ian Patches Liburd, Minister of Public Infrastructure, while speaking at a Town Hall Meeting on Monday, July 18, at the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School in Molineaux.
“We are ensuring that we maintain the roads right around the island because we have an agreement with the Venezuelan Government,” said Minister Liburd. “They supply asphalt/ bitumen to us on a regular basis so road construction must not be left to political expediency as happened in the past. For the next fiscal year, the Public Works Department has been instructed to give the Minister (Liburd), the agent of the Cabinet, a three-year plan that will cover road construction and road maintenance throughout the entire island.”
Minister Liburd made mention of the newly constructed South-East Peninsula Tunnel, stating that $16 million was spent on this tunnel and it is now safe for commuters. “Why couldn’t the former administration spend money on Old Road Bay across which it is so dangerous to travel?” the Minister asked. “A young man from my constituency died from the rock fall across Old Road Bay,” Minister Liburd reiterated. He noted that thousands of people commute via that road every day and plans are already in place to address the slope-stabilization in order to safeguard lives.
At the ceremony to mark the opening of the tunnel at the Dr. Kennedy Simmonds Highway on Friday, May 20, the Minister with responsibility for roads also made a public plea for concrete truck drivers to try to avoid spillage of concrete as this reduces the lifespan of the road.
Still on Public Infrastructure, the Minister noted that the Government is working assiduously to renovate a number of dilapidated public buildings. He noted that a committee was established to advise the Ministry on this matter in an effort to reduce public expenditure on rent.
“We are going to look at the best way forward where we can repair, rebuild and get back into buildings owned by government, rather than paying $17 million in rent,” (that was spent over the last 10 years under the Labour/NRP Administration) said the Minister. “Over $1.5 million has already been spent for rent of one property in Sandy Point,” the Minister added.
In May of this year, members of the Public Works Department journeyed around the island, patching and resurfacing roads where necessary. On an earlier edition of the Government’s weekly radio and television programme “Working for You,” Minister Liburd spoke about a project, where over a three-year period the entire island’s main road will be resurfaced. Work has also started on a number of buildings around Basseterre.