President drafts Army for lagging D’Urban Park Project
The Ministry of Public Infrastructure is moving to complete the D’urban Park Development Project in time
for the 50th Independence anniversary celebrations. Army personnel are now on site to help turn the project into a reality.
Fifteen soldiers on Monday turned out at D’urban Park and will be lending support to MPI’s Special Projects Unit (SPU) for the duration of the agency’s work. According to Captain Daniel Seeram of the GDF, the 15 soldiers include five mechanics and were deployed by Commander-in-Chief and Head of State, President David Granger.
“The Guyana Defence Force is always ready to lend a helping hand to Guyana’s development,” Seeram said.
Meanwhile, Head of SPU Lawrence Mentis explained that the agency’s work is moving apace. Amongst SPU’s works are the completion of the VIP and public parking areas; creation of access driveways; and the building of bridges. These works commenced on Friday.
Works have begun on the external parking lot for the public as well as the road for the national float parade, which will culminate at the site.
Mentis further explained that approximately 100 of the agency’s workers are onsite to ensure SPU’s task is completed, not only on time, but to the highest possible standard.
“Things are progressing smoothly. We’ve had beautiful weather and the materials are coming in on time, as we expected. Once the weather permits and we’re able to keep up our current pace, we’ll be able to meet our deadline,” Mentis predicted.
The set deadline for SPU’s work – and the entire project – is May 12, two weeks before Independence Day. On Tuesday last Cabinet cleared the use of some $150 million for the completion of the Project from its current stage.
Minister Patterson had said funding, on the initial stage of the project, is on the line item of Ministry’s Infrastructure Development, “but there are alternatives, including what has not been concluded, a grant funding which is already earmarked for such type of developments… I can expend as much as $150 million, however, at this initial stage, we do have to get this finished before, so there will not be any need for a contingency at the moment.”
The Public Infrastructure Minister went on to say that should the grant funding come to fruition, there is the possibility that it would wholly fund the remaining work that government has undertaken to complete: “I do hope the possibility of a grant funding is resolved quickly, as it will obviously defray those costs.”
Meanwhile, the sources that would have funded the project to its current state still remain unknown. When asked about this, Patterson noted that the funding was derived from donations but did not reveal any names, saying that an audit would be conducted to clear up any speculation.
The works being done on the D’Urban Park Project are categorised as: roofing and remedial works for spectator bleachers; completion of superstructure, walls and roof for the VIP stand and electrical wiring; lighting and power supply; access driveways and bridges, sanitary facilities and drainage works.