Proposed Location of the Asphalt and Concrete Plants is a Deliberate Insult – Cummings
by Lyf Compton
Residents of West Kingstown are demanding that the Government find another site for asphalt and concrete batching plants which the authorities are looking to establish at Gibson Corner.
Last Sunday, a group of upset residents held a meeting at the main road leading to the proposed site at Gibson Corner, with the main item on the agenda being strategies to prevent the plants from being installed in their neighbourhood.
Last week, a petition was signed by several residents protesting the government’s decision to place the plants in the area, and for doing so without properly notifying residents.
Residents of Yambou in South Windward rejected the same plants with a similar petition in June 2019.
Now, the plants are slated to be placed in an area where residents had to be evacuated a few years ago due to severe land slippage.
And, speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, parliamentary representative for West Kingstown Daniel Cummings brought the residents’ and his objections to the fore.
“The proposed location of the plant, in the heart of the catchment that is Kingstown, not just West Kingstown, Kingstown, it cannot be considered anything else but a deliberate insult to the people of this country,” Cummings said.
The Opposition politician said the construction of these plants requires many things, the least being, an in-depth environmental impact assessment by a group of competent people.
He noted that apart from the obvious dust associated with a concrete plant, an asphalt batching plant generates fumes that are deemed very toxic.
Cummings, an engineer, said that if one looks closely at the topographic map of the area, it will indicate that fumes and dust and other particles from this location will radiate throughout the southern part of the island, engulfing all of Kingstown and Campden Park, while stronger winds will take pollution as far as Questelles and Lowmans while affecting neighbourhoods like Montrose, Kingstown, Redemption Sharpes, Green Hill, and even Dorsetshire Hill.
He stated that the population density in West Kingstown is among the highest in the country.
“…And we want to put this right in the heart of a prime living area in this country.
“I don’t know if the fact that the people of Kingstown don’t vote for the government has anything to do with this, because nobody who is right-thinking would even consider such and act,” Cummings argued.
Going further, he said a few yards away is Government House and not far from that is the residence of the Prime Minister, the Botanic Gardens and the Anglican Pastoral Centre.
“I just hope, the concerns raised by the people of West Kingstown and voiced through me here will not fall on deaf ears.
“Because another community protested and it seems to me that community is politically protected, so they moved it. But I want to give notice, I will challenge this to the end of the earth. It must not and will not happen in West Kingstown,” Cummings told Parliament.
“I don’t know when people feel they going lose power they seem to lose all reason and act as though they don’t care. This kind of behaviour is the most callous, spiteful, audacious and ridiculous action that anybody can think about.
“Spiteful! This is to get to the people of West Kingstown and Kingstown in general because nobody of right thinking would even think of doing this, much less to go about and say you starting construction,” Cummings said.
Meanwhile, a female resident who prefers to remain anonymous said residents fear a plant of this nature will pollute the ground water in the area while contaminating the environment with harmful toxins.
“This will damage the eco system in the area and the way the wind flows out of that area, areas like Lowmans, Campden Park, New Montrose, Old Montrose even Kingstown will be contaminated,” said the peeved property owner who added that the decision to place the plants in an elevated area with strong winds was not properly thought through.
Minister of Transport and Works Julian Francis has promised to meet with residents this Sunday at the proposed site.