Ria Rambally and Rosemarie Sant
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Multi-level car park for Sando Waterfront
San Fernando Mayor Kazim Hosein has promised citizens a new multi-level car park as part of the San Fernando Waterfront Redevelopment Project. Hosein made the statement at a clean-up and beautification exercise at King’s Wharf, San Fernando, yesterday. The clean-up effort came following the demolition of DR Singh’s sawmill earlier this month. The sawmill, which had occupied the land for over 60 years, was described by the mayor as an eyesore and a health hazard to the public.
“This was never an appropriate site for the sawmill, as its operations could have put the lives of citizens in danger,” Hosein said. “We are proposing to build a multi-level car park here for the people who come to the hospital, or those who use the water taxi and have to park their cars on the side of the road.” Stressing the need for public car parks in San Fernando, Hosein said he had also taken steps to alleviate public frustration by telling the wreckers to “go easy” on people when they park on the streets.
“There is no parking in the city, there is no parking at the hospital. I have therefore called on the wreckers to be very lenient on people on how they park their cars in San Fernando.” Expressing his disappointment at the lack of consultation by the Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development over the waterfront project, Hosein said the council felt left out. “Everyone has their eye on this project, but we in the council feel we should have more input. It’s as we always say, ‘Don’t sit in Port-of-Spain and make decisions for San Fernando.’”
When asked about the two other structures occupying the land, Hosein said the legal process required to remove the two squatters had already begun. He explained that one squatter had been there for the past 40 years and the other for 50 years. “We need to go through the legal process to have these persons removed in a humane manner.” He also announced the corporation was set to begin demolishing old and dilapidated buildings in San Fernando today.
The first demolition will take place on Court Street at 10 am. Hosein praised the owner of the building for coming forward to co-operate with the council’s clean-up efforts. “These dilapidated buildings are life-threatening, and often these buildings are homes to drug dealers and homeless people,” he said. Hosein said the council was renewing its calls to owners of dilapidated buildings to come forward and claim responsibility for their property, or face legal action
“There are many property owners who are refusing to co-operate. We will not be deterred from cleaning up our city. Those people will face legal action,” he said.
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