No sewage treatment plant planned for Canouan school grounds – official
Developers of the former Tamarind Beach Hotel property on Canouan have no intention to build a sewage treatment plant on the school compound in the Southern Grenadine island.
And the government’s acquisition of land close to the school and hotel project is meant to facilitate the laying of pipes for a utility building that will service both compounds with water, among other things.
Terrance Ollivierre, the parliamentary representative for the Southern Grenadines said he discovered that an idea was being floated to move a sewage treatment plant onto the school compound, which accommodates both primary and secondary school students.
“Whoever thought of that move and that would be the best thing, something with these people have to be crazy and not from this world or from this planet, because how can you do something like that?” Ollivierre said during the New Times radio programme on October 6.
The Southern Grenadines representative said he and his party, the New Democratic Party are opposed to this venture and he declared that it could not be allowed to happen.
Oswald Robinson, the president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union also expressed similar sentiments during an interview with the SVGTV this week.
“It means that all the water would be treated and it is going to end up into the yard of the primary and secondary school so the Teachers Union is concerned about this and we are making a profound statement that this is something that is totally unacceptable,” he said.
The SVGTU president added that it was a matter of safety for the school population and residents in the area.
And he called on authorities to “do the honourable thing” by going back to the drawing board and choosing a different location.
However, an official close to the project told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday that neither the area representative nor the SVGTU president have a clue of what they are talking about.
The official noted that the Tamarind Beach Hotel property is being reconstructed through a private/public partnership.
In relation to this particular project, a utility building is currently under construction just outside of the boundaries of the Hotel.
“There is a new utility facility that is…constructed separate from Tamarind and separate from the school. So that utility, with water, laundry facility and everything…is for the Tamarind Beach Hotel but also, it will feed the Canouan school with water because now, they have to truck water on a daily basis to the school,” he explained.
In order for this to happen, the official said piping needed to be laid in order to have connectivity between the hotel and the utility facility which sits off of its boundaries.
According to a government notice, a parcel of land in Canouan was acquired under Section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act “for the purpose of a public road to connect with the other public roads on the north-western and north-eastern boundaries of the land and for the construction of tunnels, culverts and conduits for the laying of connecting water and sewerage pipes and other infrastructural facilities from the former Tamarind Beach Hotel to the Canouan Primary and Secondary School Complex”.
On Monday, Ollivierre said the acquisition of the land near to the school was meant to facilitate the construction of a sewerage plant even though the owner did not agree to it.
The Southern Grenadines representative said on radio that the property owner refused to sell, after which the acquisition was done in order to make a road and lay pipes for the development.
“Now, how is that possible? Who acquired the land? Who can acquire people land and just put their money where they want to put it?” he said.
The official close to the project told SEARCHLIGHT that there were two government roads between the Hotel and the utility facility and land was acquired by government to link both roads and “and to provide access for the piping to the Tamarind Beach Hotel from the utility building…”.
He added that it will also aid in providing access to the hotel.
He stressed that the hotel and the school each have their own independent sewerage systems, with the hotel having a modern sewerage treatment plant.
And the only way of connecting the utility building, which sits outside of the boundaries of the Tamarind Beach hotel was to acquire the particular piece of land, he said.