An agreement has been inked which will the reconstruction of the Indian Arrival Monument which collapsed last year. This is according to information released by the Department of Public Infrastructure [DPI]. The work will represent a collaborative effort between the Governments of Guyana and India. last year.
According to DPI, the Coalition government inherited a design which was in place under the former administration and had commenced work on the monument with that plan. Minister of Natural Resources Raphael Trotman said that the mistake was to assume that that design would have worked.
In April last year, the monument collapsed, while under construction. Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson said that a soil test carried out showed that the 17-ton statue was too heavy to lay on the swamp-land. The area, he said, is known to be the ground of a former canefield.
Yesterday a ministerial team including Minister Trotman, who is also acting in the capacity of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Patterson and Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton, visited the site to have a first-hand view of the current situation.
Minister Trotman told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the matter has been engaging the cabinet for some time. The issue was also raised back in February when he and Minister of Foreign Affairs Carl Greenidge visited India.
The Indian government has committed to providing an engineer, architect and sculptor for the project.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Guyana before the end of this year and, according to Minister Trotman, the government hopes the monument could be completed before then.
He said all relevant documents have already been sent to India and are being examined by the experts there.
Minister Patterson told the DPI that the ministry has provided the results on the soil tests conducted and other requirements to the government of India. The Indian Government will, in turn, respond with a proposed design so that work could get underway.
According to the Infrastructure Minister, “hindsight is 20/20 vision” and the government is now looking to have the works expedited.
Minister Patterson could not give the cost attached to the new project as the agreement is still in the process of being finalised.
Minister Norton sought to assure the nation that the government never neglected the project in the first place and is enthusiastic to see it completed.