Jagdeo: Qatari hotel land belongs to State, 34 city grounds being developed


The lands awarded to a private Qatari group to build a massive hotel project along Carifesta Avenue belongs to the State and not City Hall, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo reiterated Thursday.

Additionally, he denied that the hotel project is eating away at green spaces in the city, saying that almost three dozen grounds in the city, some overrun with bush, are being developed.

Following public statements by City Mayor, Alfred Mentore that the lands for the project belonged to the City and that legal action will be taken against the government, the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) produced maps and data which shows the lands are not owned by the City.

“The only portion of land that the City Council held in the area North of Carifesta Avenue was a dam between GT&T and Saints Stanislaus ground (called Wireless Road). This was leased to a private citizen for commercial purposes by the Council,” the GLSC stated.

The GLSC said it has “substantial” historic records to prove State control of the lands for well over 100 years and “at no time during this period has there been any interference by the Council as to the ownership of the said lands.”

Dr Jagdeo said that the hotel project is important for the development of Guyana and for bringing high-paying jobs for Guyanese.

Speaking about the benefits of the project, he indicated the conference centre at the new hotel will be five times that of the Marriott.

“It seems as though we have to fight for every development project” Jagdeo stated, noting that he faced similar criticism for the development of the Marriott hotel project, which sits on what was essentially a a dumpsite by the ocean.

Regarding the move to swap the sports grounds into foundation for the hotel project, Dr Jagdeo said it is not like the city will be without any green spaces and recreational facility. He posited that such spaces are a priority of the government.

That is why, he said he last year met with Georgetown citizens and it was decided that all 34 grounds in the city, from Agricola on the East Bank to Cummings Lodge on the East Coast will be rehabilitated and those works are ongoing. Those works include raising grounds, fencing, installing lights, fixing and/or building new buildings.

“The city will be greener and cleaner and we need the buildings,” Dr Jagdeo stated, noting that the need for recreational facilities must be married with the need for development projects.

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