Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Oropouche residents unclear of new smelter site

by Radhica Sookraj
Trinidad Guardian
January 03, 2007

Just over a week after Prime Minister Patrick Manning announced a decision to build an industrial estate on the Otaheite Bank, Oropouche residents say they are still trying to find that location on their maps.

Geologist John Keens Dumas from the group Neighbours Incorporated said yesterday he had no idea where the Otaheite Bank was located. “If you check the map, there is no listing of the Otaheite Bank,” Dumas said.

He explained: “Manning says the industrial estate is being planned for the Otaheite Bank but there is no Otaheite Bank . However, there is the Oropouche Bank which is situated to the front of the Oropouche River stretching westward to Otaheite.”

In a telephone interview, Dumas said his group had not made any decisions about what form of action they would take to stop the smelter. He said Government officials had not met with the people to provide any answers on exactly where the proposed industrial estate would be located.

He said he and other members of the group met on Old Year’s night but little discussion was held because of the lack of information.

We need to know exactly where the industrial estate is planned and superimpose this on our cadastral maps,” Dumas stated.

Last Friday, the Environmental Management Authority’s corporate communications manager Alicia Charles disclosed that the Government had made an application to build an industrial estate on the Oropouche Bank and not the Otaheite Bank.

Charles said the application had been submitted on November 29, detailing plans to construct an offshore estate in the Gulf of Paria on 1,400 hectares of land.


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