Silica City: Govt starts consultations with Soesdyke-Linden Highway residents
…as scores of residents turn out to get update on project
Consultations have started on the transformative Silica City with residents along the Soesdyke/Linden Highway and surrounding communities, aimed at ensuring persons in geographic proximity are updated on the progress of the project.
During the consultations at the Kuru Kururu Youth Choice Centre on Wednesday, Minister within the Housing and Water Ministry, Susan Rodrigues, and Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, Kwame McCoy, spearheaded the initiative.
“Scores of residents from Kuru Kururu village on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway and other surrounding communities turned out to participate in the first ever public consultation yesterday, as plans are progressing for the development of the new Silica City.
“The consultation was geared at bringing residents up-to-date on the plans for the new smart city, which upon completion will transform some 3000 acres of land. It will be a self-sustainable city with commercial and industrial zones, housing, medical and educational facilities, and recreational and open spaces,” the Government further said in a statement.
Also present at the consultations were Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Water, Andre Ally; and Central Housing and Planning Authority’s (CH&PA’s) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sherwyn Greaves.
Additionally, Lamaha-Yarrowkabra Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) Chairman Floyd Smith and representatives from a number of other agencies, including the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission and the Guyana Water Incorporated, were present.
Silica City, Guyana’s first smart urban centre, is intended to be a smart city powered by renewable energy and developed with the Administration’s revised Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and Goal 11 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which speaks to building sustainable cities and communities, in mind.
Silica City will initially cater for just over 3000 households in the first five years, and eventually grow to house more than 12,500 households when completed.
Back in January, preliminary works at Silica City had commenced to pave the way for the construction of the first 100 homes.
The first phase of the project will see an initial 400 young professional homes being constructed. It was previously reported that the Housing Ministry had already begun shortlisting persons for these homes.
A whopping $2.1 billion contact was inked in February to develop Silica City during a contract signing ceremony at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC). This was one of the 126 contracts exceeding $56 billion that were awarded for infrastructural works under the Housing Ministry as part of its work programme for 2023.
Housing Minister Collin Croal, at the signing ceremony, had explained that significant investments will be made in key project areas – a major one being the Silica City project, which will be inhabited by 2025.
“A lot of people have been asking if they will see Silica City off, and they have been hearing about Silica City. One thing you can be rest assured is that, by 2025, you will hear much more than just Silica City. You will see people living there,” the Minister envisioned.
Silica City is a development the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Government had initiated talks on prior to leaving office in 2015, but which was never continued under the succeeding A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government.
In his first year in office in 2020, President Dr Irfaan Ali had revealed that Government had begun discussions on Silica City as a secondary city. He had explained that the Government was looking at an area on the Linden-Soesdyke Highway that would be connected to the new four-lane bypass road. (G3)