Indian PM Modi to visit in December

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Guyana in December, Minister of State Joseph Harmon confirmed Monday morning.

The exact date of the visit is not known at this time.

The commissioning of the Indian Indentureship Monument at Palmyra is expected to be a highlight of the visit.

Monday morning, Harmon announced a $38 million contract to build a visitors gallery and security hut at the area.

The 12’ by 12’ bronze monument was designed and constructed in India and cost US$150, 000.

The monument describes the lives of ordinary Indian people in their routine everyday life with each carrying something of importance – their jahaji bhandal (ship bundle) loaded with food, spices, herbs, clothing, jewellery, their gods, religious texts, drum, karaahi (cooking pan) tawa (flat circular metal for cooking roti), grass knives (scythe), cutlass and rice plants. The figures are presented in a straightforward realism with the human factor ever present.

Guyana had agreed to construct the base upon which it will rest but in an embarrassing turn, the structure, for which $97 million was allocated, collapsed and is now being rebuilt.

Under the new project, which is being managed by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the works entail construction of the monument base and podium, as well as peripheral components such as the walkway, landscaping details, internal drainage, roadway, lighting, visitor’s gallery, security hut, and fencing.

All of the works are expected to be complete in time for Modi’s visit.

This year marks 180 years since the arrival of the first Indian indentured workers to Guyana.

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