Nov 23, 2014 News
– firm concentrating on mining
Four months after a glitzy launch of a multi-million-dollar hotel at
Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara, construction is yet to start.
At issue is the much-touted investment by Indian-owned Sun and Sand Group of Companies.
There has been absolute silence on the project by both Government and the investor. A visit to the Liliendaal site yesterday by this newspaper found only a signboard in evidence.
There were no construction materials on the ground that was partially flooded from recent heavy rains.
On July 9, last, Sun and Sand turned the sod for the construction of a US$54M five-star, luxury hotel and casino at Liliendaal.
There were several Government officials including President Donald Ramotar and Tourism Minister, Irfaan Ali. Also, there was former President Bharrat Jagdeo and Managing Director of BK International, Brian Tiwarie.
It was announced then that construction on the163-room hotel will begin immediately and expected to be completed in approximately 18 months.
It was disclosed also that Sun and Sand was highly interested in investing in Guyana’s mining, housing
and shipping sectors.
When completed, the 290,000 square feet hotel is expected to house a commercial block and club house of approximately 45,000 sq. ft. It is being touted to provide direct benefits to Guyanese through the provision of several hundred jobs.
Yesterday, asked about the status of the hotel, Tiwarie said, “I am not really the local contractor you know… I just watching over one and two fine things. Is me friend dem man. I just looking over some things for them but they are here right now, you should call them and ask them why they ain’t start as yet.”
Calls to the Managing Director of the Hotel Project, Bhushan Chandna, did not bear much success yesterday as his assistant who answered his mobile number insisted that he was not in Georgetown.
The associate was asked the reason for the company not commencing construction, to which he said, “The Company is not really looking at the hotel business right now.
It is focused on other interests, but I can’t say (at this time). Mr. Bhushan will be here on December 1.
The people for the mining are here but not for the hotel. I cannot tell you much about the hotel business.”
A source at the Lands and Surveys Department confirmed that the Indian firm is still to complete payments for the Turkeyen Lands. According to the official, Sun and Sand seems no longer interested in the hotel business but rather in the mining sector.
The official revealed that former President Jagdeo had a hand in the deal and made promises to the Indian firm.
This newspaper understands that the company is being more cautious with its investments considering the political climate in which the ruling party is under heavy fire for a number of critical issues.
The situation will leave questions open – what happens to the land that Sun and Sand was granted at Liliendaal and whether the deal on the hotel was tied to mining permission.
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