Last Updated on Sunday, 17 July 2016, 15:50 by Denis Chabrol
City Mayor, Patricia-Chase Green on Sunday remained adamant that no permission would be granted for the seventh floor to be constructed on a building at Robb and Camp Streets, despite repeated cries by the owner that a call-centre investor might pull out and thousands of prospective jobs would be lost.
“My understanding from the (City) Engineer and I have seen a correspondence coming from him is that no approval was granted for the seventh floor; approval was granted for the six floors,” she told Demerara Waves Online News.
Chase-Green told Demerara Waves Online News that Rizwan Khan went ahead and began constructing the seventh floor without permission from City Council. She also noted that the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) has turned down Khan’s request to build the extra floor.
Khan says the seventh floor is required by the investors for a lunch and recreation area for three shifts of 2,500 persons each.
Khan has refuted claims by CH&PA insiders that he does not have the required ratio of one toilet for every 25 persons, saying that instead he has 10 male and 10 female toilets plus four urinals on each floor which would accommodate 300 persons. “We have got enough toilets for each floor,” Khan told Demerara Waves Online News.
The City Mayor insisted that approval was given for six floors and there would be no more additional floors to the structure. CH&PA sources have told Demerara Waves Online News that with the number of occupants at any given time, it means that Khan would need to have a water treatment plant to deal with the volume of human and other types of related waste.
For his part, Khan has said that he has already spent more than GYD$1 million in conducting integrity testing on the foundation and other parts of the structure to prove to the authorities that another floor could be accommodated.
Projecting that Guyana is expected to lose US$40 million in salaries, income tax and social security annually if the call centre investor pulls out, Khan intends to formally appeal to President David Granger to grant approval for the seventh floor to be constructed.
Khan said the ground floor would be used for a mini mall, the first floor for a fast food restaurant and the remaining floors for the call centre.
The CH&PA recently refused to allow Khan to make a presentation to the authority’s board.