Silica City to transform Soesdyke-Linden Highway, surrounding communities
−first public consultation held at Kuru Kururu
Scores of residents from Kuru Kururu village, located on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway and surrounding communities on Tuesday, attended the first public consultation on the development of Silica City.
Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues,
Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame McCoy and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority, Sherwyn Greaves presided over the meeting held at the Kuru Kururu Youth Choice Centre.
Silica City is set to become the leading destination for eco-friendly living in Guyana, advancing the country’s sustainable and climate-smart agenda. With 3,800 acres of designated land, infrastructure development has already begun.
Minister Rodrigues explained that the 3,800 acres of land will be converted for a range of developments, including housing, commercial, and areas for institutions, such as government offices. Open spaces will also be preserved for recreational spaces, hospitals, schools and other public services.
Some $2 billion in contracts were recently awarded for the first phase of infrastructure development works including the construction of road networks, bridges and culverts.
According to the minister, the first phase of development will also involve the construction of high-end young professional homes on approximately 109 acres of land, which will provide 300 house lots measuring 600 square feet each.
These two-storey houses will be on the periphery of an 18-hole international golf course that is expected to attract persons to the area.
“This will be slightly different from the ones that were constructed [ on the East Bank]. It is going to be a little bit more high-end houses,” she noted.
As part of the development process, Minister Rodrigues informed the gathering that the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GLSC) provided an inventory of all those who have been granted leases in the area, including those with existing leases.
Importantly, she said there is zero occupancy within the 109 acres secured for the first phase development and for the construction of homes.
Minister Rodrigues reiterated that Silica City will be a sustainable, modern, and vibrant city built upon the principles of sustainable urban land use and management. Moreover, she said, the city will be a ‘marvel.’
In a few years, this community will be the envy of the country and people will clamour to come to this community,” she emphasised
Greaves said that the city will be a self-sufficient one that generates its own electricity. It will provide convenient transportation options such as tramcars. The city will also include dedicated bicycle paths to further encourage alternative modes of transportation.
“Just envision a city that you see in Dubai or one of these areas. That is what we are bringing here to you. And this is not a dream, this is a reality,” he said.
Minister McCoy announced plans for significant development along the Soesdyke-Linden highway as part of the PPP/C Government’s broader objective to create vibrant and sustainable communities.
He highlighted that Silica City will be a crucial element of the comprehensive plan to transform the highway, and emphasised that the new development will offer numerous prospects for the persons residing along the highway.
“We envision a highway that will be booming in a few years time, booming with commercial activities booming with residential settlements… Silica City will bring so many opportunities for you here in Kuru Kuru and other areas along the highway,” he told the residents.
The minister also addressed the issue of squatting, which remains a contentious matter along the Soesdyke-Linden highway. He acknowledged that while the government is working towards a comprehensive solution to the issue, individuals must refrain from participating in this unlawful activity.
The residents were also given the opportunity to express their views and concerns. Many of them welcomed the new development and anticipated the numerous opportunities it will generate for them. Representatives from a number of sister agencies including the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission and the Guyana Water Inc. also attended the event.