The billion-dollar D’ Urban Park facility which a number of persons have described as a white elephant has activities at least once per month, according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
He was at the time responding to a question at the post-cabinet press briefing about the facility not being used for activities for this year’s Independence celebrations.
He pointed out that the D’Urban Park is one of several venues for national events and that the planners or the organizers of the events decide where they are held.
Apart from D’Urban Park, the minister listed the National Park, government buildings and the Providence Stadium as venues where events are held.
He said that Stabroek News had reported that D’Urban Park was a white elephant, suggesting that the facility was not being used.
The article to which he referred, appeared on May 1, 2017 and carried the headline, ‘With more than $1.3B spent… D’Urban Park still looks like a white elephant.’
According to the article, “More than a year after the controversy over the construction of the D’Urban Park Development Project erupted, the facilities are still being grossly underutilized and the stands are mainly used by vagrants for shelter.”
It said too: “The lack of use has been heightened by the announcement last week by the government that the 51st independence anniversary flag-raising will be held at Stabroek Square at a significant cost and not at D’Urban Park as the expectation had been.”
Minister Harmon pointed out that the same day that the article appeared, there was a “massive undertaking… by churches in this country… If you only had gone there you would see what was happening.”
He added that “since the park was built at least once per month various organizations in this country have been using it for activities.
He said too that it is being used in the afternoons for fitness walks and by children to play games, declaring: “It was built for the people of Guyana and is used by the people of Guyana.”