嘉峪关夜网

first_imgAmaila Falls hydro projectFormer Government Minister and current Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Irfaan Ali, has lashed out at Government for its inconsistent policies, and has highlighted recent comments made by one senior Government Minister in relation to the Amaila Falls Hydro Power (AFHP) project.He said Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman’s recent affirmation that the project is actually a renewable energy option for Government is one prime example. Trotman’s statement is contrary to that made by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who had said Government has shelved the idea.“This Government has demonstrated that it has no clear vision, understanding, or clarity on where it is going, and its developmental priorities for Guyana… I think pride and arrogance (have) cost the Guyanese people tremendously, as a result of the actions of this Government,” he stated.Ali told Guyana Times on Sunday it is also clear that the only accomplishments that Government could point to are initiatives or undertakings that commenced under the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Government; another case in point being the Specialty Hospital which was also shot down by the coalition.According to him, had the Government, while in Opposition, supported the AFHP project, it would have already been on stream, and Guyanese from all walks of life would have been direct beneficiaries today.“By today, the people in this country, our brothers and sisters, would have been benefiting from the most improved and cheaper energy costs. As a result of pride and the heavy-handedness of this Government, when they were in Opposition, the people were denied this opportunity,” he asserted.The Opposition MP said also that the Government was given the opportunity, while in Opposition, to support the independent stakeholders who had come to assess the feasibility of the project. However, it did not seize those opportunities, but is now claiming that monies will have to be expended on carrying out another assessment.“Why is it (that) we have to expend more resources and more study on a project that is already deemed good and supported by every single independent group that came to assess the feasibility and viability of this project? By today, we should not be worrying about whether we should continue with the hydro,” he said.Ali said Government should have moved ahead with the idea, but again reminded that Government was reluctant to do so because of pride, mainly because it was a brainchild of former President Bharrat Jagdeo.He maintained that the AFHP project is the most important aspect of Guyana’s transformational development goal, mainly because the greatest hindrance for all Guyanese is the cost of energy.“Even the Inter-American Development Bank spoke about the inhibiting factor for Guyanese development is the cost of energy. Today, not only would we have had 100 percent renewable energy, but we would have had an electricity rate that would have come down by almost 50 percent,” he noted.In addition to that, local rates would have been far more competitive, so much so that it would have created expansion in the manufacturing sector, which would have ultimately lent to new opportunities for growth and development, and job creation throughout the country.The MP said the same could be said for many other projects. These include the Marriott Hotel, the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Expansion, and the Specialty Hospital.“Skepticism and a lot of mischief was created around these transformational projects that were critical in recreating a new developmental and economic growth landscape for our country,” he opined.Reference was also made to the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc seeking US$110 million to assist with an overhaul of its system. Ali reminded that this sum is not catering for any expansion, but just to maintain the current supply network or bring some improvements to it. His contention is that that investment could have been put towards the AFHP project instead.The Opposition PPPC has long called for reintroduction of the Amaila Falls Hydro Project for a number of important reasons. Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said not only does the scrapping of the project threaten the forest pact agreement with the Kingdom of Norway, which could cause the country to lose out on another US$3 billion in savings, but it could assist Guyana to combat climate change.The project, which formed part of Guyana’s Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), was the brainchild of Jagdeo, and was commissioned in 2009. And having taken up office in 2015, the current Government has repeatedly stated its disapproval of resurrecting the project. (Samuel Sukhnandan)last_img read more