See below full statement by Minister David Patterson on D’Urban Park Project
Statement by Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson on the D’Urban Park Development Project
The Government of Guyana feels that our 50th Anniversary Celebration affords us with an opportunity to engage in introspection and serious reflection as to what has brought Guyana to this point and where we will go from here. Government looked at the short, medium and long term benefits to be derived from expending resources on the park and determined that the cost is justifiable.
There have been questions in the public domain on the necessity of D’Urban Park. Persons have noted the presence of the National Stadium which, almost a year ago, hosted the inauguration of President David Granger. These questions are valid ones. However, while the May 2015 Inauguration was an overall success, the use of the National Stadium on that occasion allowed us to recognise its shortcomings.
During the inauguration, the stadium was filled to its capacity of 16,000 persons. This event also caused major traffic disturbances and safety concerns, as noted by the police and fire departments, who cautioned against a similar activity at this venue. It is anticipated that our Jubilee celebrations will be witnessed by more than double the number of persons who attended the inauguration last year, thus leading to greater demand of space.
D’Urban Park, when completed, is expected to hold 30,000 occupants and has a greater capacity than those of all other comparable sites, including the National Park, the National Stadium, and any other public place.
The National Stadium’s cricket pitch and outfield are also unable to be used due to the regulations of the International Cricket Council. Additionally, the centrality of D’Urban Park was taken into consideration. Its central location makes it more easily accessible to a greater number of citizens who do not possess vehicles. There are also enough facilities to accommodate parking via Homestretch Avenue; Hadfield Street; two parking lots at D’Urban Park; the National Cultural Centre Tarmac; the National Sports Hall; and the National Communications Network Tarmac.
Additionally, the aesthetic and sanitary transformation of the D’Urban Park area – compared to what existed over the past two decades – makes for a healthier and more wholesome community. The configuration of the Park will also allow it to accommodate a variety of public events beyond the Jubilee celebrations, including the Mashramani float parade; religious ceremonies; food fairs and education exhibitions; musical concerts; medical outreaches; physical training and gymnastic displays; and other public rallies.
Furthermore, some of the structures being erected, such as the bleachers and pavilion, are permanent while others are temporary and would be relocated to various community centres around the country. The exact locations where stands will be relocated will be determined by the appropriate ministries. The permanent structures can be used for several activities beyond the Jubilee celebrations.
The decision to make D’Urban Park a reality was not one made in a vacuum; there were consultations with the residents of the community and these were held at the Salem Church located in Hadfield Street. Furthermore, the subject of the upgrade of D’Urban Park has been a matter of general public discussions over the years and preceded this administration. In fact, every government going back to the late seventies has made varying proposals to the upgrade of this area. Most of the different concept designs were made available to this administration and it is from these designs that the artistic impression of the completed D’Urban Park, which has been on public display via signboards around the park for several months, was conceptualised.
In regards to works, these will be executed in a phased manner. The current works being done by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure is the completion of Phase I. The costs for the several phases have yet not been determined. However, the sum of GY$150M has been allocated in the first instance for the completion of this Phase I. This sum was sought and received approval upon MPI’s assumption of responsibility of D’Urban Park. The Ministry will update on final costs upon completion of the project.
In regards to sources of funding prior to the Ministry’s assumption of responsibility, all donations were made a registered company, which is under a separate head outside of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure. Therefore, these would be audited differently.
The project has, of course, had its hiccups. When the Ministry assumed responsibility, there were some noted defects on the structures, such as the shrinking of the timber, loose joints and poor finishes. These defects are presently being corrected by the contractors, based on the reviews done by MPI’s engineers. On review, the total capacity of the seating per stand, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure decided to increase the factor of safety (FS) to three.
It must be noted that the Ministry’s responsibility over D’Urban Park will not reduce or detract its funds for other scheduled projects; in a subhead under “Agency 322 Public Works: Chart of Account 1214900 Infrastructural Development”, the sum of GY$150M has been provided from the Contingencies Fund to assist in this project. The GY$72.889M voted under this subhead by Parliament will not affect the approved scheduled projects.
Procurement procedure followed for D’Urban Park contracts
Nine contractors are currently on board of the D’Urban Park Development Project as the Ministry of Public Infrastructure progresses smoothly towards its deadline.
Sixteen firms were shortlisted from the Ministry’s prepared list of shortlisted contractors to bid for the construction of timber framed bleachers with steel framed roof, as part of the D’Urban Park Development Project.
As per procurement regulations, interested bidders were invited and were required to respond in writing, indicating their intention to provide a bid. Further, they were required to present sealed bids, which were delivered to the Officer of the Coordinator of the Works Services Group, as well as visit the site.
Selection criteria were based on a number of areas, including attestation of site visit; access to line of credit, no less than GY$4M; and commitment to provide requisite staff for 2 shifts per working day.
List of invited contractors
|1.||Bassoo and Sons
|2.||House Designs and Engineering Associates
|3.||Paragi Developers Inc.
|12.||SA Nabi and Sons|
|5.||Sukhai||13.||S. Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Constructing Services
|15.||C and L Construction Inc.|
|17.||H. Nauth and Sons|
Out of these invited contractors Bassoo and Sons; House Designs and Engineering Associates; S. Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Constructing Services; and C and L Construction Inc. were selected. These firms joined TBL Engineering; Chung Global; Mc Branz (Car Care); Barnes; and McCoy, who were involved in the project before the Ministry of Public Infrastructure assumed responsibility.
The materials for some of the works were done by the Ministry, direct purchased from our approved suppliers in accordance with the Procurement Act of 2003.