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Chaguanas residents get better of Chutney Soca
The Chutney Soca Monarch semifinal will now be held next week Friday at its original venue, the Rienzi Complex, Couva. Southex CEO George Singh made the announcement yesterday afternoon, mere hours after he was forced to cancel the show, which was scheduled for tonight at Rise Car Park in Chaguanas.
Chaguanas Magistrate Gillian Scotland-David refused to grant Singh a dancehall licence, on the ground that Rise was not a suitable venue to hold an event of that nature. The police and residents had objected to the show at that venue. Speaking with reporters outside the courthouse, Singh said he felt baffled and disappointed. He questioned why there had been no objection to a dancehall licence being granted for an all-inclusive fete at the same venue tomorrow.
“The event is actually using all of our infrastructure. They are actually estimating a crowd larger than ours. They have a shuttle service that runs from the (Divali) Nagar site, bringing people there, dropping them off—it’s the same conditions and ours have been denied while theirs was approved...So I am baffled, actually, as to why this has been denied.” Singh could not say at that time where or when the show would now be held. “I have to find a way.
The semifinal is a very important event to the national community, not only to Indo-Trinidadians....this is one of the four most important events in Carnival.” He said he chose Rise because he wanted a smaller venue, since for the past five years the semifinal had not been attracting a large crowd and he wanted to host the show in Chaguanas.
The event has been held at Rienzi Complex since its inception 18 years ago. Senior Supt Deodath Dulalchan warned fete promoters to include the police when planning events, when he spoke with reporters at the Chaguanas Magistrates Court where Singh was denied the licence. Dulalchan urged show promoters to ensure the Police, Fire Services and other stakeholders were on board when planning programmes.