Government has granted approval for the erection of a Diamond/Grove Magistrates’ Court within the compound of the Golden Grove Police Station, on the East Bank of Demerara.
As such, a brief “Turning of the Sod & Tree planting” exercise was on Monday morning held at the construction site to commission the court which will cost in excess of $132M.
The building is expected to house two court rooms, a library, two Magistrates’ Chambers, a complete registry, a holding cell, briefing room, janitor’s room, bailiff bond and an elevator, among other facilities.
Present at the ceremony were Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan- who was also performing the functions of Attorney General, as Basil Williams was out of the jurisdiction- Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards, Justice of Appeal, Arif Bulkan, and several other judicial functionaries.
The the sod turning exercise was described as a symbol of growth within the Justice System.
Providing a history of the project, the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Suana David-Lovell explained that former acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh, before the conclusion of his tenure, “being cognisant of the need to make justice more accessible for the citizens of Guyana, had an idea to build another Magistrates’ court on the East Bank of Demerara.”
David-Lovell told the gathering that the Providence Magistrate’s Court has been covering cases along the East Bank of Demerara for years, but because of the rapid expansion of the jurisdiction over the years, the lone court could no longer suffice.
“Against this backdrop, his Honour sought to identify a suitable location for the court and since this area in Diamond/Grove had become the largest and most densely populated housing development on the East Bank, it made sense to establish the court at or near this area,” she asserted.
As such, following protocol, permission, she noted, was sought and granted by the Minister of Public Security and the Diamond/Grove Neighbourhood Democratic Council.
“The Supreme Court engaged E&A Consultants, who are the engineering and architectural consultants, to produce a plan and bills of quantities, etc to get things rolling,” David-Lovell explained.
She also posited that after the requisite tendering process, a contract was awarded to PD Contracting Incorporated for the sum of over $132M.
The contract was initially signed in November 2017 and is expected to conclude within a year of that date. (Ramona Luthi)