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|(DPI) Minister of Public Works, Mr. Juan Edghill, has recommended that residents of Canal No. 2 Polder, West Bank Demerara, meet again and discuss among themselves, their current road situation, to come up with a plan that everyone is in favour of, and once possible, Government will facilitate.
This recommendation was made on Wednesday afternoon during a visit to the community by the Minister and a team of Engineers, at the request of residents, who are asking for the construction of an access road opposite the Conservancy Dam in Canal No. 2.
In a meeting with the Canal No. 2 Framing Group at his Kingston office last week, a list with approximately 60 signatures was presented to the Minister, along with an older list of signatures requesting construction of the said road. In agreeing to meet residents, the Minister requested that the signatories, as well as other members of the community, be present at the meeting, at a time and place to be decided by the residents.
During Wednesday’s meeting, less than 20% of the signatories showed up for the meeting.
Meanwhile, to get a better understanding of the area, Minister Edghill walked the 1850 meters of Conservancy Dam, after which he spoke with residents about their initial access road request.
“The report that you brought to me is that you would like to have a road so you could get access to your property, I have walked the distance that the 81 children, as well as the old people, got to walk on this Conservancy Dam, we cannot build a road on the Conservancy Dam because if you put weight on that Conservancy Dam and it collapses, everybody will be flooded.”
“Second request is that you build a road after this drain (drain that separates the conservancy dam from the first line of houses), I have walked the full dam and we got at least 25 houses that if you attempt to build a road, I’m not talking about a strip, if you intend to build a road from this drain going back, there are 25 houses that will have to be moved,” Minister Edghill noted.
He made it clear that Government will not go into the community and try to pick a fight with 25 families to remove them from their homes when there are other alternatives for a road.
“If we don’t build a road and we attempt to build a walkway we still have about eight (8) properties according to my count. We have come through the back, we have gone to the plan that is available to us, there is a government reserve that is clear, and people are actually using that government reserve. I deliberately came out with that canter because nobody can tell me vehicles can’t pass because I drove in the canter quarter way to come out, motorcycle and everything are going down in there.”
Some of the residents gathered remained adamant and continued their calls for the road opposite the Conservancy Dam to be built, opposing the alternative plan outlined by the Minister and his team, however, Minister Edghill reiterated that there were too many encumbrances for a road to be built opposite the Conservancy Dam.
He said it was not practical and also posed a threat being that close to the Conservancy Dam. Additionally, Government would need special approval from the Boerasirie Water Conservancy to construct a road in such close proximity to the Conservancy Dam.
“I will tell you what Government will not do, Government will not participate in any family feud, I am making that very clear, Government will not participate in any family feud, anybody who fighting over land, brother and sister, inheritance, and so on, Government will leave people to that.”
“I will leave here this afternoon and y’all sit down and decide what y’all want. I will tell you upfront, Government will not come in here and fight brother and sister and cousin problems, government will not come in here and try to pick a fight with 25 families to move from their homes when there is another clear access which everybody can use.”
Minister Edghill also told residents that this situation can be corrected, however, it would take everyone to think logically and with the future in