The over $1 billion controversial D’Urban Park, which was a massive project undertaken by the previous A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU + AFC) government, is now home to vagrants and has not been used for events for some time.
However, during an interview with MTV News Update, Minister of Public Works Juan Edghill said there are plans for the modernisation of Guyana, and the D’Urban Park will not be left out.
According to Minister Edghill, the construction of the Guyana Fire Service (GFS) Headquarters along Homestretch Avenue forms part of the bigger developmental agenda.
“It will not always be left as wood and wood ants and vagrants […]. It’s an eyesore; that’s what I would call it, an eyesore. We will get to the point where you will see the real development of a D’Urban Park where the people of Guyana will benefit,” Minister Edghill stated.
Describing the project as the most ‘scandalous,’ Edghill said these plans would be real development, which would benefit the Guyanese people.
“A D’Urban Park that will not be for a parade but a D’Urban Park that will serve the best interest of the Guyanese people,” the Minister added.
According to Minister Edghill, as soon as the plans are finalised, they will be announced.
He posited, “That’s prime real estate; lots of possibilities exist, and as soon as we finalise the usage of that area, we will announce it to the people of Guyana, but I can guarantee you it will not be left as that eyesore.”
The D’Urban Park project, which started in 2015, was pegged at a whopping $1.4 billion and has been shrouded in secrecy.
A special audit in 2018 into the project by the Audit Office of Guyana (AOG) found that $1.1 billion was spent despite payment vouchers to account for how the monies were spent were not provided.
The project took center stage after it was revealed that former Public Service Minister Dr Rupert Roopnaraine sat as a Director of the special purpose company Homestretch Development Incorporated (HDI), which was tasked with collecting funds from private companies to develop the Park.