As the restoration of the iconic City Hall building continues, contractors have been encountering more damages than they had initially anticipated, according to Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall.
Speaking exclusively with this publication earlier this week, the Minister said notwithstanding these challenges, the works are still on track for the June 2023 completion.
“When they start removing different panels and components, that is when they start seeing much more damage than we had anticipated,” Dharamlall explained.
“Restoration is quite a delicate, at the same time, tedious exercise. I last met with the contractors about three weeks ago and they indicated that they are still on schedule to complete the restoration. But, I believe that the restoration is more important, getting it done properly is more important, than a time overrun of a few months, so I’m not really worried about the restoration, in the sense that it might go beyond time.”
“I’m happy that the contractors have indicated to us that they are on schedule. It is a painstaking process, but I believe we have to be patient with it. It is going to be restored…to its former glory and I think that is what is important,” Dharamlall remarked.
Reminding that the City Hall restoration project is a commitment made by President Dr Irfaan Ali, the Local Government Minister further disclosed that an additional $216 million has been pumped into the exercise.
Restoration works ongoing at City Hall
“President Ali has been committed to that from the first day he became president and every year he has been allocating money or making sure that resources are put to the restoration of City Hall,” Dharamlall outlined.
In 2021, a $780 million was signed and awarded to Fidis Guyana Incorporated to execute the project.
Works were scheduled to start in October 2021 with an expected completion time of 18 months.
The Local Government Minister previously shared that the restoration of the building is part of a greater development plan for the country.
“The restoration of City Hall should not be seen as something by itself, but is part of the greater whole, in terms of how we are pursuing development in the country… It is quite an extensive and expansive exercise that His Excellency is pursuing and we hope that it will rebound to the benefit of the citizens of Georgetown,” Dharamlall had expressed.
The City Hall building is more than 100 years old. [By: Tassia Dickenson]