Millions allocated for development in Victoria, other East Coast communities

The government has allocated nearly $60 million specifically towards the infrastructural development of Victoria, East Coast Demerara.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall made the revelation during a ministerial outreach at the Victoria Community Centre Ground on Saturday morning.

The outreach catered to residents from not only Victoria, but other villages along the East Coast from Haslington to Ann’s Grove.

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues

The infrastructural developments include several bridges, as well as maintenance work being carried out through the ministry.

Additionally, the village will benefit from a $5.8 million tractor and trailer being provided to the Haslington/Grove Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), which Victoria is a part of, as well as a mini-excavator, for community development.

A number of roads have also been identified for construction within Victoria, and construction has begun on some.

The government’s investment in Victoria is not only limited to infrastructure, Minister Dharamlall pointed out.

He noted that over the past two months, 50 persons from the village have been employed under the National Pathway Workers Project—also called the Part-Time Jobs Initiative—to conduct community works.

A section of the crowd at the Victoria Community Ground on Saturday

That initiative sees one person from a household working in public service for 10 days per month, and receiving $40,000. That totals government investment of $2 million per month for the community.

“ So, while we are doing the heavy lifting, it will be incumbent on the residents of the communities, the people of the communities—including the Chair of the NDC to go get work done,” Minister Dharamlall asserted.

He reminded that councillors, as elected officials and workers under the local government ministry, have a responsibility to assist their communities, by meeting with residents to address major issues.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, commended residents for showing interest and the will to take charge of their own development.

“This is the first step on the path to prosperity for you and the people of Victoria,” she told attendees.

The minister turned residents’ attention to the impact of initiatives put in place by the Ministry of Housing and Water.

“We promised that we would deliver 50,000 house lots in five years in office. So far, I am pleased to report that we have delivered 20,800 house lots; 5,900 of which have been allocated here on the East Coast of Demerara. We have ongoing infrastructure work right now as I speak to you, to the tune of $24.2 billion being pumped into the economy of the East Coast of Demerara… This is the type of development that will take place here, on the East Coast of Demerara,” Minister Rodrigues stressed.

She said the scale of the transformation will mirror that of the East Bank.

The ministry’s first ‘Dream Realised’ housing drive will be held on the East Coast of Demerara in one week’s time and will see some 2,000 house lots being distributed to residents.

A water treatment plant is also being eyed for construction at the Hope Canal, which will service residents from Haslington to Mahaica, and will provide treated tap water for residents in those areas.

“I want the people of the East Coast to know that you are not forgotten. You have never been forgotten. You have always been included in our development, but everything in due course…. When we talk about progress in this government and in the housing sector, this is what we are talking about. This is progress. This is transformation,” Minister Rodrigues said.

She further committed to addressing housing and allocation concerns for those along the East Coast.

“When development takes place, whether it is in Victoria, Haslington, Mahaica, or the East Bank, it is growth. It represents growth for the entire region and the entire country,” she said.

Teams from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development and the Ministry of Housing and Water were also present, to address residents’ concerns.