Taking steps to honour their corporate social responsibility, members of the business
community ,yesterday, met with Tourism Industry and Commerce Minister, Irfaan Ali as his Ministry unveiled their ‘Urban Beautification Plans’ for a section the City.
In his address to the gathering, which included his Worship the Mayor of Georgetown, Hamilton Green, Minister Ali pointed to the benefits of collaboration, made manifest in the success of the Parliament Square project.
“We have been successful in transforming the area on Brickdam, now known as Parliament Square. This was made possible through collaboration with the Private Sector, and forms part of the wider ‘Brickdam Renewal Plan’,” he explained.
According to the Minister, a similar such beautification and city enhancement project for the Tourism Ministry will bring with it a plethora of benefits for all involved, including the citizenry and the private sector.
Ali also pointed to similar such enhancement projects launched in various parts of the world which have transformed “depressed” areas into beautiful spaces.
He said, “This is an excellent opportunity for us to come together and take action. There is no denying the benefits of a beautification project. In Chile for example, a depressed area was transformed with a coat of paint and some flowers, this uplifted an entire area.”
Alluding to the Ministry’s contribution to the overall beautification effort, he revealed plans to erect a Waterfall directly in front of the South Road office, which will stretch to include paved walkways for pedestrians.
On this note Minister Ali called on the members of the business community to also consider partnership for this project and informed that the meeting was to be the first of many that will lead to the realization of the plan.
“This is the first of many meetings we plan to engage in, as we seek to garner feedback from all stakeholders and to form partnerships,” the Tourism Minister affirmed.
Meanwhile, the participants of yesterday’s consultation were provided with the details of the project and the scope of works to be undertaken.
The Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr. Indranauth Haralsingh delivered a brief pictorial presentation which highlighted the current state of the environment with the city block, and included projected images of what the same area will look like once enhancement works were completed.
Along with a list of potential enhancement activities, he outlined the objectives of the project and pointed to the necessity of partnership if the initiative is to be sustainable and successful.
“This is a pilot initiative and we want to partner with you to do this,” Haralsingh declared.
Mayor Green lauded the Minister for the initiative and expressed the hope that the project will become a “flagship” for other such activities, which will be extended across the country, and which will have the input of the populace.
Pointing to the challenges, Green acknowledged the need for the “policing” of the area and encouraged the inclusion of a wider section of society, particularly the school population.
He said, “We have long asked for a project of this sort, as we have lacked the resources to look at the entire city and we know that one bad area makes an entire block look ugly. I want to compliment those involved in this project and urge that we see the project in a wider context that extends beyond tourism.”
In closing the Honourable Minister gave the assurance that his Excellency, President Donald Ramotar and the Administration remain committed to making greater provisions to restore the city.
The stakeholders are set to meet within the next week to finalize plans and to establish a Management Committee to get the ‘Urban Beautification for a Living City’ underway.
The areas targeted for the enhancement project include Camp Street- from Regent to Brickdam and along South Road- from Camp Street to Wellington Street.
Harris Paints Commended
In his presentation, the GTA Director also updated the gathering on the progress Authority’s enhancement projects currently underway.
He spoke of the works in progress to restore several bridges and culverts along the South Road corridor and I doing so, lauded the private sector partner, Harris Paints for their collaboration and donations.
He explained, “To date we have completed two such bridges along the South Road corridor and we want to express our heartfelt thanks to Harris Paints, for joining with the GTA to make this project possible and for joining in our efforts to sustain our city beautification plans.”