All house lots on East Bank of Demerara already distributed – Croal
Thousands of house lots that were available on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) have already been distributed and by early next year, another 5,300 people will have access to their lots at Great Diamond and Grove.
“As it is right now there is no more land to allocate here on the East Bank for housing because we have actually reached the conservancy…We have reached to the buffer of the conservancy and that’s it for the East Bank,” Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal said on Friday.
Croal made the revelation during a visit to inspect ongoing infrastructural works which include land preparation, road networking and pipe works for water access.
The six lots visited by Croal in the two areas consist of 5,300 lots which were already distributed. And following inspection, Croal said the majority of the owners are expected to access their lands by the end of this year.
However, he said there is about 25 per cent of persons will be given access at the beginning of the new year.
“By and large, most of the Great Diamond portion, persons will be able to start seeing their lot by the end of this year and then there are one or two, maybe 25 per cent of that will be shown very early into the new year,” Croal said.
At each site, Croal interacted with contractors to assess their current pace and get an idea of how works are progressing. And while some contractors are on schedule, there are some who are lagging behind.
As such, Croal said they will be issued with warning letters and liquidated damage will be applied to those who failed to get the works done in keeping with their deadline.
“Some contractors, in summary, are working faster than some and I have always said to contractors, if you perform well, obviously these things are taken into consideration for you to be able to get additional work,” Croal said.
During their engagement with Croal, the contractors also raised a number of issues, such as access to the lands, as well as difficulties in accessing materials such as sand.
“We are aware that access was an initial challenge. In fact, at least about four months after award that is when they were able to access the areas,” Croal said.
Notwithstanding that, the Housing Minister pointed out that with the excellent weather condition and all the contractors starting at the same time, there should be no excuse for any of them to be “way behind.”
“The others should have been completed by now.
“I know persons have been waiting a while. Persons who were allocated last year, they were always told that the infrastructural work will be completed this year and by the end of this year they would have had access…finally we will get to that point of being able to provide access to them,” the Housing Minister noted.
As part of its manifesto, the government had promised to deliver 50,000 house lots by the end of its first term in office. And with 30,000 house lots already allocated, Croal said they are on track of achieving the target.