More than seven years after some $500 million was spent to develop a Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) Network in Guyana, the Government today said is now being forced to spend $93 million to repair a defunct system which was never operationalized.
Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission Trevor Benn told reporters on Tuesday that much of the equipment at the stations which were developed have gone into disrepair but he stressed the need and importance of the CORS network becoming functional.
The contract between the government and Ordnance Survey International Services Limited was signed on Tuesday, allowing for work to commence on the project.
Benn said it is regrettable that such a large sum was spent by the previous government to put the infrastructure in place which was never used for the purposes intended.
The project seeks to establish and sustainably maintain a modern, robust and accurate national geodetic positioning network for Guyana.
Benn said the network will be of benefit to several sectors including surveying, mining, agriculture and construction. It will provide accurate base date to these sectors for use in developing the country’s water and land resources.
“A lot of projects are failing because of a lack of base data and we are happy about this move… we will closely monitor the progress of the project,” he added.
The Company contracted to carry out the work will have to establish full functionality and usability of the existing network, Assist the Commission to procure and deploy specialist equipment for the network, ensure the network is coordinated and design and implement action plans to ensure sustainability.
The contract was signed between Commissioner Benn and Mr. Peter Hedlund, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey International Limited.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon was present to support the commencement of the project. Offering brief remarks, he said the project is important for the development of Guyana in keeping with the Government’s green state development strategy.
He said it will help the Commission to fulfill a main aspect of its mandate which is to conduct surveys of Guyana’s land and water resources so as to develop sustainable land use policies.
Work on repairing the old CORS network and ensuring its usability has already begun.