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Bharath denies HDC plan to bulldoze crops
Food Production Minister Vasant Bharath said yesterday he was unaware of any attempts by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to bulldoze lands in Chaguanas. Around 10 am residents and farmers from Eygpt and Dass Trace in Chaguanas began protesting when they saw bulldozers entering their community. The workmen contracted by the HDC to bulldoze the lands never got the chance to do so as the chants and protests by the residents and farmers sent them away. This occurred while Bharath was attending a function in Macoya.
When Bharath was informed of the action by members of the media he said he knew nothing about it.
Bharath said: “The arrangements that we have in place with the Ministry of Housing and the Environment is that if it is that lands are being bulldozed for the purposes of houses then what would happen is that adequate notice will be given to farmers and that the T&T Agricultural Society and the National Food Crop Farmers’ Association would be involved in those discussions.” He was speaking to reporters after the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute media awards for excellence in agricultural journalism at the Centre of Excellence in Macoya yesterday morning.
Bharath said he was unaware of any activity taking place nor the reasons. He said the Eygpt Trace farmers whose crops had been bulldozed several months ago were being relocated to Soogrim Trace.
“Clearly, if that particular land has been earmarked; it has been agreed upon with the farmers that they are going to be relocated then clearly, if new farmers have moved in to start planting, then they would be doing so illegally and then the ministry would have every right to move them to be bale to start putting up the houses,” Bharath said.
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