PM: Exuma infrastructure work to begin in 2011
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham informed residents of Exuma that major infrastructure work will start on the island next year, while a guest yesterday morning on the radio station The Breeze 98.3FM.
Ingraham said a design team is coming to The Bahamas this month to produce a design for docking facilities in Exuma and North Abaco, along with drawings for the Glass Window Bridge in Eleuthera. The team will also prepare a design for a new road from George Town to either Emerald Bay or Steventon. The prime minister projected that work should begin on these Exuma projects by the end of the third quarter of 2011.
The government also is planning a new health care facility in Exuma.
“The plans that were done for the mini-hospital in Exuma are plans that are inadequate. We are throwing them away,”said Ingraham.
“We are starting from essentially scratch. And as soon as those plans are in a state of readiness there’d be some discussions with the community of Exuma because the plans for Exuma will be similar to the plans for Abaco and the plans for Eleuthera there will be a prototype.”
Responding to a question from Dwight Hart of The Breeze on concerns in Exuma about crime, Ingraham asked the residents of the island to assist the government in its crime reduction effort, especially with the reduction of smuggling.
“There is a significant amount of smuggling that is taking place on custom goods and other items being brought in that are not declared, which could include guns from time to time,”said Ingraham.”As your population expands you will also have other social issues. But from a law enforcement point of view, we are very much aware of the concerns in Exuma and are taking steps to minimize them and reduce them.”
According to the preliminary results of the 2010 census, Exuma’s population has more than doubled over the past decade.
The island’s population grew from 3,571 in 2000 to 7,314 in 2010. Former Exuma MP George Smith has called for Exuma to again be allocated two seats in the House of Assembly as a result of the population growth.
Ingraham said that it is not reasonable for Exuma to be allocated another seat based on its population and size. He also said he does not support an increase in the overall number of seats in the House.