Govt devises resettlement plan for squatters obstructing Diamond-Eccles road project


A group of informal settlers residing along Block ‘X’ Plantation Herstelling (Cane View), East Bank Demerara, were on Thursday engaged by the Ministry of Housing & Water – Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA).

The meeting was led by Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal and CEO of CH&PA, Mr. Sherwyn Greaves at a local shop in Cane View.

Approximately thirty households are occupying a government reserve in the area, which is intended to be used for the construction of the new Eccles to Great Diamond four-lane highway.

As such, the Central Housing and Planning Authority has devised a comprehensive resettlement and relocation plan. This includes the provision of a house lot and the rebuilding of structures based on valuations.

Two areas for relocation have so far been identified within close proximity of the area. These are developed schemes where the settlers can enjoy access to healthcare, educational and recreational facilities, as well as, access to basic utilities such as electricity and water.

In addition to this, the residents will also have access to Certificates of Title and Transports, which are currently unavailable at Cane View due to the illegal occupation.

Cost regarding the relocation process will be borne by the Housing Authority. In addition to the restoration of their homes, Minister Croal assured residents that CH&PA will also ensure the resuscitation of their livelihoods.

CEO Greaves, stated that the agency remains resolute in assisting all residents throughout each stage of the resettlement process. He further noted that no strong arm approach will be taken and the concerns of each resident will be addressed. During the meeting the residents were also given a platform to raise issues, which were addressed by the Minister and team. The meeting also saw the attendance of officials from the local democratic organs and the Chief Valuation Officer, attached to the Ministry of Finance’s Valuation Office. A number of engagements are slated to continue over the coming weeks.

The Eccles to Great Diamond Highway, will be linked to the new Eccles, East Bank Demerara to Mandela, Georgetown Highway. This is in keeping with His Excellency President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s vision to reduce traffic congestion along the East Bank Demerara corridor, while also transforming the country’s travel landscape and linking communities.