Gov’t to fast-track modernisation efforts on the east coast −Min. Rodrigues

The government is planning to accelerate development on the East Coast Demerara (ECD) to match the ongoing modernisation efforts on the East Bank Demerara (EBD).

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues made the disclosure while speaking at a public consultation on Silica City development on Tuesday.

“We have started already. We are going to accelerate the development on the east coast this year to mirror what was seen over the last few years on the east bank,” she said.

This year, infrastructure development works worth $21.78 billion were contracted for both new and existing housing schemes. These include De-Engrat, Hope Block 6, Hope Blocks A&B, La Resouvenir, Success, and Good Hope Phase 4 on the east coast, as well as several areas on the east bank.

Works have been carried out in various housing schemes such as La Bonne Intention, Mon Repos, La Reconnaissance, Annandale, Vigilance, Strathspey, and Bladen Hall, where thousands of people have been allocated house lots.

The government is not only working on housing schemes on the east coast, but also focusing on the overall infrastructure development along the East Coast Corridor. Currently, the Ogle to Eccles Road on the East Coast Demerara is under construction, and there are plans to upgrade the railway embankment to a four-lane road.

Millions of dollars are also being invested to upgrade community roads and bridges through the Ministries of Local Government and Regional Development and Public Works.

Minister Rodrigues made reference to the Diamond Housing Scheme which was initiated by President, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali during his tenure as housing minister.

That housing scheme, she pointed out, ran up to 21st street, and despite facing a lot of criticisms and backlash, he opened the housing scheme.

Today, Diamond is considered to be one of the largest housing developments on the east bank. 

The area is not only highly populated but is also currently undergoing significant infrastructure development. The government is constructing a four-lane highway that runs from Mandela Avenue all the way to Diamond.

According to Minister Rodrigues, the road will eventually extend to the Linden-Soesdyke-Linden Highway, where the new Silica City is being developed.

“Those people who pay $92,000 for a low-income house lot back in the early 2000s when he [President Ali] was giving away house lots there. today the realisation of their property value is in the millions of dollars.

“That is real progress. That is real development. And that is the type of visionary leadership that we are talking about,” she added.