The Chairman of the Beterverwagting (BV)/Triumph Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) says that his office never received any documentation in relation to the erection of the E- Govemance signal tower in the Regional Democratic Council storage complex.
In fact the Chairman, Wayne Nero yesterday said that he was oblivious to the fact that works were ongoing at the site until Region Four Chairman Clement Corlette at a recent meeting mentioned that one of the structures would be erected in BV. Corlette himself has said that he has only recently become aware of the works at the storage complex.
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.
When asked yesterday, residents in the surrounding area said that they were not engaged on the building of the tower, nor were they aware of its intended purpose and benefits, and also said they had no objections as to the tower’s site. Nero however said that his office had received calls from several residents of the area who complained that the vibrations from the pile-driving has caused cracks in their concrete homes. Upon investigating, Nero said he found these claims to be true.
When Stabroek News visited the storage complex yesterday workers had just completed the pile- driving for the site’s foundation and said they would be going to La Bonne Intention (LBI), where an another tower is to be erected.
Earlier this week Corlette announced that after making contact with the administrators of the programme his office was able to elicit a list of sixteen proposed tower sites in Region Four.
In addition to BV, Lusignan and Plaisance where works have already commenced, the list includes La Bonne Intention (LBI) Estate, the compound of Grove Police Station, the compound of Vigilance Police Station, Clonbrook Police Station, Cane Grove Police Station, Paradise Reserve in Foulis Housing Scheme, Latchmansingh Housing Scheme, Lusignan, GuySuCo area, Enmore, Providence Police Station, the Women’s Leadership Institute compound, Cove and John, the compound of Melanie Nursery School, Helena government reserve, Mahaica and the Gecom site, Coldingen.
Piles which were to be used in the controversial siting of the Plaisance signal tower were on Tuesday removed from the Community Centre Ground and taken to LBI where they will be used in the construction of the signal tower intended for that area. Minister within the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill said however that the move does not mean that the issue of the siting of the Plaisance tower has been resolved. He has said nevertheless, that government remains open to talk so that an amicable solution could be reached. Project Director Alexei Ramotar also said the piles were removed but that the issue at Plaisance stood unresolved.
The government has maintained that it had contacted both relevant local government organs in relation to the erection of the signal tower at the Plaisance Community Centre Ground, while the Chairmen of both the RDC and the Plaisance/Industry has denied ever being engaged.
Realizing the need for consultations Corlette said that his office has 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 earlier this week who agreed to begin the first set of meetings today. 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 with Ramotar, which is why he agreed to have so many meetings during the weekend.
Consultations, Corlette said, will educate members of the communities of the benefits of the tower while decreasing suspicion which is important especially considering the Plaisance fiasco.
He added that where the Melanie Nursery School is concerned, he is in the process of seeking permission from the regional educational department to carry out works at this site.