40 properties for compulsory acquisition as construction commences on new Demerara River Crossing  

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As preparation for civil works on a new crossing over the Demerara River is being accelerated, so too are the government’s efforts to relocate private property owners currently living within the area set aside for the new bridge.

On Tuesday, and for the first time, the government announced that a total of 40 private properties were identified for compulsory acquisition to allow for the construction of the bridge and new road networks on both banks of the river.

The announcement comes two years after the PPP/C government revoked an acquisition order signed in 2019 authorising the compulsory acquisition of private lands to construct the approach roads for the new Demerara River Crossing.

The decision in 2021 was to use State property instead but later, officials announced that a handful of properties would have to be acquired by the State and subsequently removed.

Works have commenced and the government made public that the handful of persons to be removed, many residing in the Peter’s Hall and Nandy Park areas on the East Bank of Demerara, totals 40.

A meeting was held with those persons on Monday at the Ramada Princess Hotel, and Attorney General Anil Nandlall said from all indications, no one is opposed to relocating.

He was joined at that meeting by Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal and Chief Executive Officer of the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) Sherwyn Greaves.

Nandlall reminded that although the Ministries of Housing and Public Works commenced a process sometime back, that process has been protracted.

He hopes that with the intervention now by the Ministry of Legal Affairs, the process will move swiftly along. Persons are given the option of full financial compensation, a house and land or house and land along with money where the previous property is valued more than the house and land provided by the State.

“At the end of the day, the government is doing everything possible to ensure the process is not an antagonistic one and that private property owners are satisfied they received market value and adequate compensation for the property acquired.

“Those are the principles guiding the government’s interaction,” Nandlall said during his Tuesday night ‘Issues in the News’ commentary on his Facebook page.

The AG pointed out that with contractors already in the area, there has been some inconvenience to residents and said this process needs to be completed soon.

It should be noted that there are no properties that would be affected at La Grange on the West Bank of Demerara where the other side of the bridge will land.

The new bridge will be elevated about 50 metres above the channel in the Demerara River. This will result in no daily retractions.

Additionally, the new structure will make an impact some 700 metres inland from the bank of the Demerara River. The landing will be in the vicinity of Nandy Park and the Ramada Princess Hotel at Providence.

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