Exactly one week ago, Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed the nation that G.O.B. had allocated two million dollars for immediate work on sugar roads. But according to Orange Walk Branch Director, Alfredo Ortega, there is no massive work project underway. Ortega told News Five that only sugar roads in San Estevan and Patchakan are being fixed.
Alfredo Ortega, Director, Orange Walk Branch
“I would invite you to go around and you will see what is happening. Personally I haven’t seen the machines working, but the Chairman has told me this morning that the machines are working in San Estevan and in the Patchakan Branch in the Corozal District. It seems to be that they have started in certain branches that they have selected to work with. In San Estevan as you clearly know there are two groups in San Estevan, one with the B.S.C.F.A. and one with Progressive, so I don’t know in which corner they are working, but if you go around the other branches, especially in the Orange Walk Branch, and other branches around, you can see that no work has been done as yet – even though the Chairman has told us that the politicians have said that they will make contact with the branch chairmen before they start so that they can see which are the roads that need attention immediately, but we haven’t had any contact with anybody yet in regards to senior personnel from the Ministry of Works.”
Gabriel Martinez, Chairman, SICB
“As far as I am concerned the technical people from the Ministry of Works have been doing their assessment and the contracts have been awarded and some are still in the process in order to carry on the work as quick as possible. I must say Mike that is as far as I know up to this time.”
“We have heard it said that work is being done in Patchakan and San Estevan and not in the other areas as yet. There has been a criticism that it is politicization.”
“I am not aware, but I must say that sometime over the weekend I received a call from Mr. Cansino who happens to be the director for San Estevan who was telling me there was some cane that was burned last week and that it was urgent for them to get that cane out as priority today. I forwarded that information to the Deputy Prime Minister, so I guess that could be the case why San Estevan is getting some attention. On the issue of whether it is politically motivated, I can’t say, I can’t say. All that I know is that priority is being given to the areas where some cane fields were burnt and they need to get that product out. I must say that.”