Is the 63 beach just a political ball?

Dear Editor,

The PPP administration has disrespected Berbicians once again by attempting to fool us into believing that the 63 beach will be developed this time not as “major tourist attraction” but rather as a “tourist dive.” I wonder if the President or any of his ministers are serious about this venture this time around.

The No 63 beach was identified for “Product development in collaboration with the National Trust, the RDC and the Chambers of Commerce” under the tourism ministry’s work plan of 2003 as outlined by the then Minister of Tourism, Mr Manzoor Nadir. In 2005 it was again on the cards for development as a “major tourist attraction” since the same minister recognised it as “a well-used tourist site, but we need to do more.” He outlined plans for “overnight accommodation, improving the facilities at the beach in terms of lounge chairs and a boardwalk and we need to have more persons at the beach to be able to develop concessions for renting paddle boats and jet skis.” What happened to this wonderful dream? Did the President forget what the party’s plans were for the beach?

From 2005 to present there has been the appointment of several management committees to manage the beach. Before 2008 there was one which fell apart over a minor matter according to former Tourism Minister Manniram Prashad when he appointed a new one in 2008. Five years after, in 2013 President Donald Ramotar appointed a new management committee. Am I to believe that both Minister Nadir and Minister Prashad appointed incompetent people to manage the beach, or is this beach just a political ball to be played?

In 2009 Mr Adrian Anamayah, then chairman of the No 63 beach committee, said the state of the beach was to be addressed by placing bins along the beach which would have been cleared by the No 52-54 NDC but this was not being done, and the bins were to be donated. Aren’t the affairs of No 63 village managed by its own local authority? If the beach is such an important attraction why couldn’t the government allocate monies for bins and for its regular clearance since all the ministers boasted about the numbers that visit the beach? How serious is the Ramotar administration now in developing the beach, or is it another foolish attempt to win the support of the residents of No 63 village and its environs to attend the PPP Congress next weekend?

 

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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