Guyana, India sign cooperation agreement for rebuilding of Indian Arrival Monument
[fruitful_sep]DPI, GUYANA, April 23, 2018
The completion of the Indian Arrival Monument is on the front burner of the national agenda. A high-level ministerial team visited the site at Palmyra on the East Bank of Berbice on Sunday and several disclosures were made.
The team which was headed by Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman, who is performing the functions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, also included Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson and Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton.
Minister Trotman revealed that a cooperation agreement signed between the Governments of Guyana and India will soon see the commencement of the reconstruction of the historic monument.
In April last year, the monument collapsed, while under construction.
The Coalition government inherited a design from the former PPP administration and work commenced based on that plan. Minister Trotman said yesterday, that the mistake was to assume that that design would have worked.
Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson said that a soil test showed that the 17-ton statue was too heavy to lay on the swamp-land. The area was formerly used as a cane field.
Minister Trotman also revealed that the Government of Guyana has agreed to utilize Indian experts in engineering, architecture and sculpting for the completion of the project. The services of these professionals will be funded by the Government of India.
Minister Trotman told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the matter has been engaging Cabinet for some time. The issue was also raised back in February when he and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenidge visited India.
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is expected to visit Guyana before the end of this year and, according to Minister Trotman, the government hopes the monument could be completed before that time.
He said all relevant documents have already been sent to India and are being examined by the experts there. Minister Patterson also said the results of the soil tests and other requirements have been provided to the government of India.
Minister Norton said government is enthusiastic to see the project completed.
Overall costs for the reconstruction are still to be finalised.
By: Alexis Rodney