Saturday, February 24, 2018

Highway construction stopped again: Judge grants injunction

WORK on the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway extension to Manzanilla has been stopped again.

Appelante Judge Peter Rajkumar this afternoon granted an injunction halting the project until the determination of the appeal by the environmental activist group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) against the dismissal of its lawsuit last week.

The judge also deemed the FFOS appeal fit for an urgent hearing.

The FFOS had appealed a decision by High Court judge Kevin Ramcharan to dismiss their judicial review lawsuit challenging the process used by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) to grant a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) for the project.

Justice Ramcharan's decision led to the lifting on an  interim injunction which he granted when construction work began last month.

In the lawsuit, the FFOS is challenging the process used by the EMA for granting a CEC for the $400 million Phase 1 of the project between Cumuto and Guaico, claiming that the process was procedural flawed and failed to consider alternative routes for the project, which would have less impact on the environment and communities.

The group submitted that the work was impacting the Aripo Savannas forest reserve, which was declared an environmentally sensitive area by the EMA in 2007.