‘All issues’ to be settled as work starts on Silica City; plans progress for ‘booming’ highway development 


Infrastructural works have commenced to develop the first 109 acres of the 3, 000-acre Silica City, the smart urban centre conceptualised for the Soesdyke/Linden Highway.

Some $2 billion will be spent in the coming months to clear the area and prepare proper access to the land with the construction of roads, bridges and culverts

The next step is to construct the first 100 high-end houses on the periphery of an international golf course towards the full development of Guyana’s first smart city which promises to be sustainable and self-generating.

But while this development is taking shape with a vision of Dubai in mind, residents who live in nearby communities, many on untitled low and middle incomes, have been assured that they will not be left out of the promised development for the entire Linden/Soesdyke highway.

Land clearing to commence work on the first 109 acres of Silica City (Photo: Ministry of Housing and Water/ March 21, 2023)

“We (the government) will settle all issues,” Kwame McCoy, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister, told residents from communities along the Highway who were gathered at Kuru Kururu for a public consultation on Silica City Tuesday afternoon.

McCoy said even with the Silica City development now in train after a decade of its conceptualisation by President Irfaan Ali, while he served as Minister of Housing, the government’s commitment is to resolve all challenges along the highway with sustained development.

“The highway will be booming in a few years’ time with commercial activities and residential settlements and we will deal with the issue of squatting,” the Minister said.

Noting that there is visible evidence of extended squatting on the highway, he begged for residents’ cooperation in helping the government resolve these issues and said citizens could no longer make situations unmanageable for the State.

“Great opportunities are ahead. Silica City will bring so many opportunities for you and others along the highway.

“Apart from Silica City, we are constructing residential schemes to ensure squatters are regularised,” McCoy said as assured the residents there that they will be equal beneficiaries of the wealth and development to come to Guyana.

McCoy was backed up by Minister within the Minister of Housing and Water Susan Rodrigues.

Residents in attendance at the meeting at Kuru Kururu. (Photo: Ministry of Housing and Water/ March 21, 2023)

“We are not just talking about Silica City; we are talking about highway development.

“A vision is in place. We just need the cooperation of people and the sky is the limit,” Rodrigues chimed in during her presentation on the project.

She promised that Silica City will be developed in phases with ongoing consultation with nearby residents and farmers.

“… so, people don’t feel their lives will change overnight and they can’t keep up. We want people to be part of the development.

“And the development will not be central to Silica City. There is interest in the entire Highway and we will open new lands that look useless now but will become highly valuable and that’s why a vision is important,” Minister Rodrigues added.

She reminded residents that there will be a highway to link Silica City to the capital – Georgetown and other towns like Linden.

“In a few years, this community will be the envy of the rest of the country,” she said.

In the meantime, she has asked for the cooperation of persons who are squatting on lands for agriculture and residential purposes to support relocation efforts.

Two new wells will be drilled in the area in the coming months to also improve water access and quality.

Rodrigues said the government remains flexible in its negotiations for compensation.

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