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PM looks at relocating Kingstown Port to ‘Bottom Town’

PM looks at relocating Kingstown Port to ‘Bottom Town’

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Prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says fishermen operating from Lower Bay Street in Kingstown will be accommodated if plans for the relocation of the Kingstown Port are implemented.{{more}}

Gonsalves, speaking at the commissioning of a new reach stacker on Friday, at the Campden Park Port, reiterated that the Kingstown port may be moved to Lower Bay Street, and added that steps would be taken to accommodate the fishermen.

“We have to make sure that the fishermen who down at Bottom Town that they have a special place in the design of this facility, and that would be determined on the design of the port itself … We will do consultations; our prospective partners will come and meet stakeholders …

“So, I want to assure them. I want Mark Dennie to hear me, so that he and his co-op wouldn’t get at me and say we want to get rid of them; not at all.”

Gonsalves, who has ministerial responsibility for ports, disclosed that a Caribbean Development Bank funded port rationalization and development study was before Cabinet.

The study proposed a number of options for the development of the port.

“Some which are fairly routine: maintenance, a little refurbishment here and there; others a little bit more developmental, and the option which is presented as the preferred option is the relocation and upgrading of the port — what is called in the document Option C, to another site in Kingstown to the west of the town.

“That is to say, as we move towards what we call Bottom Town,” he explained.

“And in the report at paragraph 9.4 it says Option C combines most of the port operations on to one new site within Kingstown, with the obvious advantages of new facilities and flexible use of the quay.”

The estimated cost of the relocation is said to be US $100 million.

He said that the proposed relocation of the port might have benefits for the tourism industry, by decongesting the cruise terminal, and provide tourist-related infrastructure in that area, which can be done in phases.

The prime minister said the relocation may appear an enormous task, but Vincentians are known for their innovation.

“Now, anybody who doubt that we can do it: if we can build an airport where we have to move four mountains, fill three valleys, span a river, move and cause to be erected elsewhere 133 middle income houses, move a cemetery and a church and all just for starters, then building a port down Bottom Town is small compared to that,” he said, to applause by port workers and other officials.

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