Delayed Land preparation on East Bank Corridor being addressed- Min. Croal
Acknowledging a land preparation delay along the East Bank of Demerara, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal on Friday said the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has commenced irrigation works.
Minister Croal said complaints by persons who were allocated lots in several areas back in 2021 have made its way to himself and the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA). The minister said that persons will soon be contacted about visiting the lots as the issue with preparing the lands are being addressed.
“We had challenges in terms of drainage. The East Bank as we go eastward, you go into land that is posing a challenge for drainage.
“These lands didn’t have to drain because no one occupied them so [now] we are addressing the drainage with NDIA. We are addressing a massive drainage problem for the entire East Bank and so as we address that now the contractors are able to access that area. That is why we had some delays,” Minister Croal said.
On the East Bank corridor, some 360 persons have been allocated low-income house lots at Block 18 Golden Grove while over 500 houses, including young professional homes, are under construction at Little and Great Diamond in addition to the house lots allocated.
And more than 100 houses under construction at Block Five, Great Diamond. The ministry invested $2.2 billion to enhance the infrastructure at Block 18 Golden Grove.
The minister further said the Cummings Lodge Housing Development is another area where houselot allocations were done and land preparation works posed a challenge. Again the ministry is working assiduously to get the lands cleared.
Minister Croal said that persons who were allocated houselots at all other areas in 2021 should have been contacted to access their area or shown their land. Some 30 moderate-income allottees identified their lands during an exercise by the surveys unit of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) earlier this year.
The minister said as these two areas are being addressed, the ministry has moved on to land clearing and preparations for the allottees from the 2022 batches.
“The infrastructure work we have ongoing is for last year, 2022 allocations and we have a few this year on the East Coast that luckily those persons can be able to have access to by the end of this year.
“Because of the gap in the housing sector we have not been able to do infrastructure work and then allocate [because] the pending applicants are so much,” he noted.
At this time the minister said some 80,000 applications are in the system and some 24,000 houselots were allocated under the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) in under three years.