Peter’s Hall residents’ interests protected

amid new Demerara Bridge construction- Min Edghill assures

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill, has reaffirmed the government’s dedication to safeguarding the interests of residents in Peter’s Hall during the construction of the New Demerara Harbour Bridge.

In an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Wednesday, the minister addressed concerns raised in a video suggesting government coercion of residents for their properties.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill

“The Government of Guyana must obey the constitution of Guyana and the commitment to all the people of Guyana,” said Minister Edghill.

He continued, “This is an ongoing process and following the law. So somebody who got ugly and exult themselves in a very ridiculous manner to get public sentiments and get some likes on social media does not stop the developmental agenda of the government.”

Referring to the legal procedures surrounding the acquisition of lands for public projects, the minister highlighted that all properties earmarked for acquisition were published in the official gazette as of April 6.

“The lands in the Peters Hall area have now become vested in the state of Guyana, enabling progress in the construction of the bridge,” he explained.

Moreover, the minister outlined the numerous consultations and extensive engagement a with residents over a two-year period aimed at ensuring transparency and address concerns regarding compensation and relocation.

Residents were provided with comprehensive compensation packages, including residential or commercial lands at Garden of Eden and Farm. They also received financial assistance for dislocation costs and temporary accommodation ensuring all welfare needs are prioritised.

Subsequently, on May 7, notices of eviction and property demolition were issued to residents.

The minister noted that every effort was made to accommodate varying needs, with legal counsel provided to safeguard residents’ interests.

However, in cases where agreements could not be reached, recourse to a court of competent jurisdiction will be pursued to ensure compliance with constitutional and legal requirements.

In instances where residents and the government fail to reach an agreement, compensation amounts will be determined by the court.