As the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport (MIPST) prepares to conduct an island-wide river desilting exercise in preparation for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, the ministry notes with great concern a common practice whereby persons engage in developments without obtaining permission from the Development Control Authority (DCA) and other government agencies.
This usually results in various problems which compromise public infrastructure, and threaten the livelihood and property of others.
The most recent example exists near the Deglos Junction, where in the process of back-filling private property, a natural water course, which allowed surface runoff water to exit into the Deglos River, was also backfilled. As a result, the recent heavy rains have caused extensive flooding and large deposits of water to remain on the road carriage making it difficult for residents, particularly those who have to commute by foot. A number of health-related problems can be caused as a result of the ponding in that area. The MIPST is now forced to redirect scarce resources in an attempt to resolve this flooding issue.
The MIPST wishes to advise property owners that for all new developments on their property, permission must be sought from the DCA. Based on the implications of these developments, the relevant government agencies, including the MIPST will be consulted and the appropriate guidance will be issued. This will ensure that the greater public good will be foremost, and would save the Government the cost of repairing public infrastructure which can be compromised.
The MISPT also wishes to remind the general public that it is illegal to cultivate crops along river banks. The law allows a corridor of six to 10 meter clearance on either side of rivers and watercourses. This provision is to ensure that access to the rivers and watercourses is possible in an attempt to conduct desilting exercises. Additionally, farming activities along rivers also destabilizes the bank’s slope, making it prone to slippage and further erosion.
The MIPST solicits the cooperation of all in that regard.
Add St. Lucia News Online on Blackberry Messenger (2A983D96); follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/slunewsonline) and like us on Facebook (facebook.com/stlucianewsonline) for breaking stories and news as it is posted.