Work continues on Charlotteville Project
…Total madness says Toppin
By Adamson Charles
There was a sense of perplexity and even bewilderment among several residents over the current progress of the controversial Charlotteville Beachfront Beautification project, when Tobago News visited the site two Sundays ago. Besides not being given an opportunity to see the final designs for the project, many expressed consternation at the preliminary works that have begun on the controversial project. The line of wooden booths have all been demolished except one belonging to Irwin “Jabba” Hercules, who has the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) in Court over the matter. Several public convenience toilets located at the side of the Community Centre also went the demolition route. The entire demolished area has been fenced off and there are concerns that a section of the hard court facility bordering the project may also be targeted for demolition to allow for the necessary space for the new structure. The fenced area has two active water courses with a drain running from west to east and a large canal from north to south. Residents told Tobago News that they are waiting to see how the contractor would deal with these water ways. “We see that they have cast the top of the canal that runs into the sea and have bolted down some heavy steel beams across it while the concrete drain running west to east have been dug up. When the rainfall is heavy that canal usually overflows especially when the tide is high. We hope they know what they are doing,” muttered one resident. Another resident quickly dismissed the concerns of his fellow villagers. “This is all politics,” he declared. “The elections has come and gone and this is PNM country now. They can do what they want as the people voted them resoundingly with a 12 nil victory,” he argued. “What we don’t understand is one man seems to be keeping back progress in our village” observed the villager. How could the authorities break down all the other vendors’ booths and fence around the entire project area and leave his booth standing?” he questioned. “Told that the vendor had taken the THA to court and that it was still pending, the villager expressed surprise. “Well the THA should have waited for the matter to be determined before starting the project,” he contended. Tobago News had reported previously that the project is yet to receive Town and Country planning permissions as well as a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) from the Environmental Management Agency (EMA). Tobago News was told that officials from the EMA visited the project last Monday. Contacted by Tobago News last Thursday, MP for Tobago East Vernella Alleyne-Toppin stated that as soon as the EMA report on the project is ready, it would be made available to the public. “I visited the site last Tuesday and I was appalled at what the contractor has done there. It is total madness to put those beams across that river,” she declared.