The virtually untouched and un-used Parliament Square on which millions was spent several years ago but which remained closed to members of the public will be rehabilitated. The facility which over the years was exposed to frequent vandalisms is also known presently for its many visiting and living homeless persons and vagrants.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Housing and Water and Central Housing and Planning paid a visit to the location at the corners of High Street and Brickdam Georgetown where an assessment of the of the physical condition of the facility done.
The rehabilitation announcement was made by Minister of Housing and Water Collin Coral during the visit on Wednesday, accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of Central Housing and Planning, Sherwyn Greeves and Permanent Secretary Andre Ally a release from the Ministry noted.
Minister Croal reminded that it was back in 2012 under the leadership of then Housing Minister, Irfaan Ali who now serves as President of Guyana, that the initiative of Parliament Square was conceptualized.
“It was to improve the aesthetics and to have the facility of a park that is different from the other parks that we have across the country” Minister Croal said.
However, it was placed under the purview of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown during the 2016-2020 period and has since been overrun by vagrants and dumping of garbage in and around the facility, the Ministry’s statement noted.
Late last year, Cabinet granted approval for the transferal of the area from the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown back to the Central Housing and Planning Authority following which the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission approved an absolute grant of ownership to the central Housing and Planning Authority.
With the passage of the 2021 budget, the Ministry of Housing’s Central Planning Authority will be taking immediate physical occupation of the area, which would include the presence of security.
“We want persons to come here take pictures and find a nice cool comfortable atmosphere and where it is too, right in central Georgetown, we’ll want to have tourists coming here and taking Pictures too as part of the experience” noted Minister Croal.
A snackette which was in the initial plan of Parliament Square, to help in the recovery of funds, will also be realized in the restoration plan.
In expressing his disappointment in what the park has become, CEO Greaves stated that a Management Committee has been set up for the rehabilitation of Parliament Square.
“We now intend to bring it back to its glory to what the then Minister and now President had envisioned for here. So, with that in mind you will see over the coming weeks and months, works being done here to bring it back to its former glory and even better. We will get the fountains working, get the fence working, put in new seats [and] new lights,” CEO said.
Following the completion of the project, persons will have to write directly to the Ministry for permission to use the area for special events, it will also be opened for use to the general public.