$120B invested for completed, ongoing four-lane highways – Min. Croal

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
The Eccles to Great Diamond Interlink Road

The Guyana Government’s expansive development strategy has seen a planned investment exceeding $120 billion for several completed and future four-lane highways.

This assertion was made by Housing Minister Collin Croal as he presented the “National Development Strategies for Housing and Infrastructure” during the Annual Police Officers’ Conference on Friday.

In the expansion of road networks is the Eccles to Great Diamond Interlink Road, pegged at $5 billion for 5.6 kilometres of roadway, which was commissioned in 2021.

Housing Minister Collin Croal

In 2022, the $2.8 billion Mandela Avenue to Eccles four-lane Highway was commissioned, followed by the commissioning of the $13.4 billion Eccles to Great Diamond Highway in December 2023.

Works are progressing on the Schoonord to Crane Highway, as well as on the $10.4 billion Great Diamond to Buzz Bee Dam road. The $80.4 billion Buz Bee Dam to Land of Canaan roadway and $40.5 billion Land of Canaan to Soesdyke Highway are in the design phase.

In Budget 2024, billions of dollars have been allocated towards the completion of ongoing and new highway projects across the country, thereby opening new routes and keeping traffic jams at a minimum.

Looking at the housing sector, Minister Croal highlighted the allocation of over 30,000 lots to Guyanese, including Joint Services members, over the past three years. Further, he emphasized the direct impact of the housing programme on the Joint Services, as they are also beneficiaries of the home construction initiative which spans several regions.

In Government’s quest to allocate 10,000 house lots annually, approximately 40 housing areas have been established since 2020. Total allocations as of February 2024 stand at 30,793.

Infrastructural works have commenced in all areas developed during this time.The Young Professionals’ housing development programme has led to the construction of affordable units at Providence, Prospect, Little Diamond, La Bonne Intention, Edinburgh, Cummings Lodge, Hampshire/Williamsburg, Amelia’s Ward, Little and Great Diamond, Leonora, Edinburgh and Ordinance Fort Lands.

More than 30 private contractors have been engaged in the construction of low, moderate, middle and Young Professional houses. Private companies were contracted to execute infrastructure works in new and existing housing areas. The CHPA has also been working with interested and qualified private sector companies and organizations to provide lands for development.

Affordable housing has been made possible with the reversal of VAT on building materials, access to affordable financing for home ownership, and partnerships which have incentivised the private sector’s involvement.

Through collaboration with the Finance Ministry and the banking sector, there has been a reduction in residential mortgage interest rates at lending institutions.

The Government has also facilitated the review of the NBS Act, which enables the Building Society to raise its mortgage ceiling to $30 million.

The Guyana Revenue Authority has also raised the Mortgage Interest Relief ceiling from $15 million to $30 million.

Under the steel and cement subsidy initiative, a brainchild of President Irfaan Ali, some 1095 vouchers have been distributed, worth $273 million.

Continually, the Central Housing and Planning Authority is working to acquire lands from GUYSUCO, NICIL and GLSC.