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City engineer confirms lands earmarked for Qatari Hotel belongs to Gov’t

President Dr. Irfaan Ali at the sod-turning ceremony last month

City Engineer Colvern Venture has confirmed that the lands earmarked for the Georgetown Seafront Resort and Convention Center on Carifesta Avenue, Georgetown, belong to the government.


I have noticed news reports, on my actions with respect to the Cease Work Notice, in at least two of our dailies, the Kaieture News issue of Tuesday, March 12, 2024 headlined: “City Hall issues stop order to Qatari Hotel” and the Stabroek News issue of Tuesday, March 12, 2024 headlined: “Mayor blasts City Engineer for not issuing cease order on Qatari Hotel works-says court action imminent” However, those reports contained a number of inaccuracies, which if not corrected, could mislead readers, and create the wrong impression about the work and intention of the City Engineer’s Department.


Therefore, it is necessary for me as the City Engineer to properly inform citizens about my advice to the council as well as my general responsibility in this matter. First, the notice that was posted on the fence of the plot of land was not addressed to an individual of the above-mentioned Hotel as certain reports seem to want to suggest. In fact, the notice was inadvertently posted on the fence, by my department.


Minutes of the last statutory meeting would show that, I reported to the Council that, on my many visits to the said location, there was no one at the site. Also, no building or other works were being done at that location. Since there was neither the presence of an individual on the site or any sign of construction works being carried out, the notice was inadvertently posted, on the fence. As a result, that notice was promptly and properly withdrawn, by me as the City Engineer. Second, I advised the Mayor and Councillors, at the Statutory Meeting held on Monday, March 11, 2024, that, as a result of a decision taken at it Statutory Meeting held February 26, 2024, for me to issue a cease order notice to the developers or persons carrying out works on a portion of land along Carifesta Avenue that belongs to the Municipality I, as the City Engineer, would have conducted a thorough research of this matter.


My research revealed the following:


1. The ownership document (Transport #337 of 1887) indicates that the Council owns three portions of land, which is approximately 43 acres and is bordered by the drainage canal immediately south of Queens Collage, Camp Road, Cummings Canal and J. P Latchhman Singh Road.


2. From survey plans I have perused, the area mentioned above is described as Non-Pariel Park, being a portion of Plantation Thomas.


3. The annotations on the Transport (#337 of 1887) have indicated that the Council, over the years, issued several leases for portions of its land to various non-governmental organisations such as Critchlow Labour College, Muslim Youth Organisation, Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC), etc.


4. Survey plans obtained from the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission show that, there were many surveys done by various Sworn Land Surveyors, within the area mentioned at no.1 and references were to Transport #337 of 1887.


5. My research also revealed that the plot of land to which the Mayor referred, at the Statutory Meeting, held on February 26, 2024, is owned by the Government of Guyana under Transport # 235 of 1863.


I hasten to emphasise that as City Engineer of the City of Georgetown, it has never been my practice or intention to derail any company or foreign investors from investing in the City or the Country as a whole. I am always ready and willing to work with all stakeholders to ensure that our city and by extension our country- Guyana develop. Colvern Venture City Engineer of the City of Georgetown Mayor and City Council.



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