Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Chatham residents block Alcoa tests

August 8, 2006

A GROUP of residents in Chatham Village, where ALCOA plans to build an aluminium smelter plant, blocked company officials from carrying out soil tests yesterday. Officials from an agent of ALCOA and Trintoplan went to Food Crop Road, Chatham Village, to conduct geo-physical tests.

Fitzroy Beache, president of the Chatham/Cap de Ville Environment Protection Group, arrived at the site at about 8 am.

Within minutes, an estimated 50 residents gathered behind the Chatham Youth Camp. Personnel from Trintoplan were forced to bid a hasty retreat, Newsday was told, after they were confronted by the residents. Trintoplan’s engineer Adesh Surujnath confirmed the incident but declined to say what happened.

Currently embroiled in objections against ALCOA’s construction of the plant on 600 acres, the Chatham/Cap de Ville Environment Protection Group recently retained Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj to take legal action against the project on the grounds of environmental hazard.

Yesterday’s site visit was to continue geo-physical tests undertaken by Trintoplan and US-based Malcolm Pierre, on behalf of ALCOA.

On site yesterday were Surujnath, Trintoplan’s fields operations manager, Hugh Nurse, and officials of Malcolm Pierre.

Newsday was told that the exercise also involve assessing potential damage to farmers’ crops and a valuation of infrastructure.

Beache told Newsday residents confronted the officials about an arranged meeting they had not kept with the Chatham/Cap de Ville Environment Protection Group. The planned meeting, Beache added, was for an update on ALCOA’s plans.

“They were unable to say,” Beache said, “and we decided that not until we are given an update, will any work go on here.”

Beache told Newsday that the officials left the area after the residents demanded they must be told of ALCOA’s plans for the coming weeks and months.


Blogger Professor Zero said...

great job here :-)

9:57 PM  

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