The University of the West Indies Archaeology Unit cannot excavate and survey the site where 2,000- year-old Amerindian artefacts were found in Valsayn unless the owner grants them permission.
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Chairman suspends Siparia Corp meeting
Chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation Leo Doodnath on Thursday took the unprecedented step of suspending the sitting of its Physical Infrastructure Committee after launching a scathing attack on several public officers. The well-known businessman said he took the strong action because “simple matters are being dragged on and on without completion and which are of urgent public importance but are being treated with little or no interest by officers of the corporation.” At the meeting on Thursday, which was attended by all members of council and heads of sections of the corporation, Doodnath highlighted the plight of residents in the Syne Village area in the constituency of Siparia, and made mention of a broken bridge which was threatening to isolate an entire community.
“Two weeks ago,” he argued, “repairs to the bridge was approved by council. That was not done. Caution signs were supposed to have been placed to warn drivers of impending danger. “That was done in a slip-shod manner. Then on Wednesday around 8 pm a truck fell through the bridge,” Doodath said. “The owner hurriedly had the truck towed away leaving a dangerous gaping hole which if left unattended would have caused serious harm and injury to life and limb. “When I contacted the relevant officer of the corporation, to my surprise, he showed no interest whatsoever. It was as if he didn’t care at all. I had to mobilise residents myself to cordon off the area. To compound matters, this morning (Thursday) the same lack of urgency continued,” said Doodnath.
The Siparia Regional Corporation head, a former president of the Penal/ Debe Chamber of Commerce, said he was not only alarmed at the lack of dedication and commitment to duty displayed by certain high ranking officers of the corporation, but by their apparent lack of technical expertise as well. He cited as an example a box drain built in Murray Trace and which he described as “a retaining wall which stands only to benefit the person through whose land the drain was built on.” “Imagine this drain ended up in somebody else’s backyard. The drain goes nowhere. There is a backup of slush and moss and a permanent foul scent in the area. There is a confirmed case of an 18-month-old child with dengue in the area as well,” Doodnath lamented.
It was at this point that a vociferous Doodnath asked that the proceedings of the meeting be suspended so that all officials of the corporation could visit the sites to see firsthand the problems being experienced by burgesses. “The injustices being perpetrated on burgesses as a result of inefficiencies and a lack of commitment on the part of certain officials at the corporation must be put to end,” said Doodnath. The emergency visiting party of the Siparia Regional Corporation included councillors, the chief executive officer, road officers, health officers and the municipal police officers.