On Friday afternoon, the Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal and engineers from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) inspected infrastructure works at Herstelling, East Bank Demerara.
The Minister was also accompanied by Chairman of the Little Diamond/Herstelling Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Mr. Puneet Jaigopaul; Chairman of the Community Development Council (CDC), Mr. Natram Rampersaud; CDC member, Mr. Neville Butts and other residents.
The works visited included an access road being upgraded at Third Street, Herstelling. Minister Croal stated that the project, which began at the end of 2022, is important for the development of the area, especially as residents previously raised concerns about the road.
“I’m happy that we’re now able to have this addressed and certainly you will find this continuing under the Irfaan Ali-led government; to be able to respond and put our resources to make our communities better,” the Minister said.
The Minister further stated that through the Ministry of Housing and Water, Ministry of Public Works and Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, more than 1,100 internal access roads in communities across the country will be upgraded to concrete and asphaltic concrete over the coming months. As part of transparency and accountability measures, the projects will be monitored with assistance from the respective NDCs. Maps of the areas and copies of the contracts will be given to each NDC and residents will be able to visit the NDCs to receive information on the scope of work for projects in that particular area.
In communities under the Little Diamond/Herstelling NDC, at least $2.4 billion in roads will be upgraded. These initiatives will provide opportunities for new contractors and employment for Guyanese. The Minister said that the projects will improve the quality of life for residents in new and existing housing schemes.
The Chairman of the NDC, Mr. Jaigopaul welcomed the development. He stated that the NDC is pleased to have another opportunity to serve the communities. Similar sentiments were also expressed by the CDC Chairman Mr. Natram Rampersaud and member Mr. Neville Butts.
Herstelling resident, Mr. Randolph Pereira was excited about the works at Third Street and other incoming works, as he said that the state of the roads have affected the community for some time.
“I’ve been a resident here since 2016 and the roads were in a very deplorable condition and there were very hard times for residents in the area. […] A lot of people experienced damages to their vehicle and I’m so happy now that the Minister is here and the infrastructure is taking place and there’s vast improvement,” Mr. Pereira said.
During his visit, the Minister also inspected ongoing works at Fourth Bridge, Herstelling, East Bank Demerara.
Photos: Anil Seelall, CHPA PR Dept.