Latest update March 31st, 2023 12:59 AM
Apr 28, 2015 News
Plans for a bypass highway that will connect the East Coast and East Bank
of Demerara to Ogle could kick off by year end. This would however be dependent on the outcome of the May 11, 2015 National and Regional Elections, being in favour of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
At a ground-breaking ceremony for new campus for the Texila American University (TAU) at Providence, East Bank Demerara yesterday, Minister of Housing and Water, Irfaan Ali, revealed plans for the highway which he dubbed “the real game changer.”
According to a confident Ali, the implementation of the highway project, which is the result of President Donald Ramotar’s negotiations, will come into being closer to the end of this year. “Why is this important? What was the planning behind selecting that area? That area was selected because it is important to have an alternative route to a municipal airport and Ogle is a municipal airport,” noted Ali.
He revealed too that implementing the ambitious project would also allow for the opening up of 1,100 acres of new lands. Beyond the identified area for the highway, Government has already started a ‘1,000 homes’ project, and, according to Ali, the PPP/C in its 2015 Manifesto has promised an expansion of that programme to ‘5,000 homes’.
“These are just some of the changes…I urge you to drive down this straight road and understand the magnitude of the development that is taking place,” said the Housing Minister as he trained his audience’s attention to a relatively new road that provides smooth access to the construction site of the Texila University and a number of other new infrastructural investments in that section of the East Bank Demerara locale.
Situated on the western side of the campus grounds is the recently commissioned Qualfon Call Centre, which the Minister reminded will employ some 6,000 individuals when it is fully operational. In the vicinity too, he observed are nursing homes of international standards being constructed, a modern mall, and there are gated communities structured among middle and low income homes that will help to boost the developmental spread of the Providence area.
In fact he intimated yesterday that “low to middle income families will be able to benefit from the equity value that the higher earning family and the gated communities bring to the development spread in the area.”
This in essence would translate to the assets value of low income families immediately increasing, according to Minister Ali. For instance, if a property was valued at $100,000 it could climb to as much as $5 million, said the Minister.
“So we are empowering people; improving their assets and this gives them greater access to liquidity. When you have dynamic developments like these also coming into place again, the asset value will be further driven up,” added the Housing Minister.
Moreover, the importance of Government’s investment in the infrastructural landscape would serve to “drive up asset value and bring interest into the area,” said the Minister as he alluded to the constructed road.
“I want to say to Texila and all of the other developers that this (the road) is an asset that has come with great investments, great time and human and financial expenditures and we must protect it,” said the Minister.
As such, he expressed disappointment that just yesterday he had cause to warn an operator against using an excavator on the new road thereby causing damage. “This is irresponsible and also against the law,” warned the Minister as he added that “it is very important that developers and persons who reside in this community help us protect and safeguard that asset.”
Currently the new road at Providence connects to an intersection which can allow passage all the way to Eccles to the north and Diamond to the south. According to Minister Ali, “If you take that intersection we have constructed an asphaltic…road to almost three quarter miles away from the existing Diamond Scheme…There are two bridges and just less than three quarter miles of road and you can drive straight into A Field Diamond.” There are also plans apace, the Minister intimated, for five more such connections.
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