Squatters to be relocated to facilitate $1.5B Independence Boulevard project

Public Works and Housing ministries to discuss way forward

The Public Works Ministry will be engaging the Housing and Water Ministry to put systems in place to relocate squatters residing at Cemetery Road, Punt Trench, and Saffron Street to facilitate the Independence Boulevard enhancement project.  

Public Works Minister, Bishop Juan Edghill on Wednesday engaged the squatters to chart a way forward for the $1.5 billion project.

Minister of Public Works, Bishop Juan Edghill makes a point

“Quite a few people who have dwelling, have already applied for house lots, we will engage the Ministry of Housing and Water to see how we can get them relocated fastest so that we can get this process going,” said Minister Edghill.

The 1.8-kilometre Independence Boulevard project will be constructed in three phases.

There will be two carriageways, a double and a single on each side. Concrete drains will also be constructed, along with a promenade between the two carriageways.

The engagement with the housing ministry will allow squatters to acquire a title, and comfortable living accommodations, while enabling them to access legal electricity and water. It is a demonstration of the PPP/C Administration’s commitment to supporting every Guyanese, as the country continues on its upward trajectory.

“We have engaged everybody.  We don’t want to take a strong-arm approach, so we have engaged people to move and we will provide whatever support,” the minister stated.

Staff of the Public Works Ministry engages one of the squatters

He extended sincere gratitude for the level of cooperation by businesses and squatters following the discussions.  

Meanwhile, the minister pleaded with the public to refrain from turning the relocation process into a political issue. 

“Anybody who wants to make small politics and create confusion out of this will not be tolerated, because the general attitude is people want to see that this area developed,” he emphasised.