Piles which were to be used in the controversial siting of the Plaisance signal tower were yesterday removed from the Community Centre Ground and taken to the site of another tower where it will be used in the construction of its foundation.
The removal of the piles however should not be taken to mean that the issue of the siting of the Plaisance tower has been resolved. Minister within the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill as well as the Director of the E-Governance Project, Alexei Ramotar yesterday confirmed that though the piles have been removed, the issue of a Plaisance locale has not yet been dealt with.
The E-governance Project will see the establishment of over fifty towers along the coast. Once activated it is expected that residents will benefit from free internet access as part of the One Laptop Per Family initiative.
Edghill yesterday reiterated that the government is still open to talks so that an amicable solution could be reached. “This has been my position since Sunday,” said Edghill who was, on the said day, made to prematurely call it quits on a meeting between the government and members of the community.
Residents, who continuously insisted that the only solution they were willing to accept was the removal of the tower for the Community Centre Ground, became frustrated after Edghill repeatedly failed to say if the government was prepared to accept this.
Ramotar also yesterday said the piles were removed but that the issue at Plaisance stood unresolved.
Meanwhile Clement Corlette, Chairman for the Region Four Regional Democratic Council (RDC) said that his office had already organised meetings which are to be held between the government, the residents and other stakeholders over the intended sites for the other towers.
Corlette said that he spoke to Ramotar yesterday who agreed to begin the first set of meetings tomorrow. Two meetings will be held on weekdays while three will be held on Saturday until all consultations have been held. Corlette said that he stressed the importance of having consultations to Ramotar, which is why he agreed to have so many meetings during the weekend.
On Monday Corlette, in a press release announced that his office had contacted Ramotar and elicited a list of sixteen proposed sites for the erection of the signal towers.
These include Beterver-wagting, Lusignan, Enmore and La Bonne Intention. Works have commenced at BV where piles are currently being driven for the construction of the foundation for a tower while the excavation at another site has been completed.
In light of the confusion caused at Plaisance over the government’s reported failure to include the Region 4 RDC and the Plaisance/ Industry Interim Management Com-mittee (IMC) in consultations, Stabroek News contacted Ramotar who said that consultations had already been held at several of the locations.
Government on Monday however, refuted the claims that they did not engage local government organs in Plaisance.
In a statement the Government said “furthermore, the government has provided information to the effect that the local government organ was the entity to which the request for the placement of the site was made.
The Plaisance IMC on two separate occasions, at statutory meetings in February and March of this year deliberated on the matter and only after that signaled its approval.”
However both Corlette and the IMC Chairman Seedath Persaud have continued to deny that the matter was ever deliberated on. Corlette in particular on Sunday stated that his office never received any word about the works in Plaisance until last Saturday, about two weeks after work on the tower’s foundation commenced.