No one should be allowed to build any structure beyond the seawall given the potential threat to sea defences, says engineer Bert Carter.
His comment is in reference to the Celina Atlantic Resort, located to the north of the seawall next to the Kitty pump station, which is now expanding.
Proprietor Bernard Yhun is currently erecting new structures at the site and his lawyer recently said there was nothing preventing his client from expanding.
Yhun had previously told this newspaper that only repairs to the decking and other areas were being done. However, entire new structures have since been erected, despite an ongoing legal battle with the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC) over the lease to the site.
In addition to questions over the legality of the construction work, there are also concerns about the risks it is posing to the sea defences in that area.
“The only structure that should be built there are those that can enhance sea defence and improve the quality of life for those behind the seawall,” Carter said during a telephone interview with Stabroek News on Wednesday.
The engineer also pointed out that while structures such as boardwalks are built seaside in countries like the United States, these cannot be compared to the Celina Atlantic Resort.
“When New Yorkers build a boardwalk, it goes 300 to 400 yards into the water on stilts, nothing is impeded,” he noted.
Carter admitted that there are no negative effects at this point, but he opined that the structure will be “gone with the wind” when the impact of the ocean is felt in years to come. “When mother nature is ready to reclaim what’s hers, that structure is history,” he said.
Engineer Melvyn Sankies, meanwhile, considers the building to be an obstruction. He explained that in the case of any emergency or disaster, full access is needed in that area.
When Stabroek News had previously contacted Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn, he refused to comment, except to say that the structure is in an environmentally-sensitive area.