Friday, December 15, 2017

$78m upgrade for N/Coast

Good news for beach lovers


telling about it: Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie fields questions from the media during yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, in St Ann’s. —Photo: AYANNA KINSALE.

Mark Fraser

The North Coast area is to benefit from a $78 million upgrade.

Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development Dr Bhoe Tewarie said the upgrades are expected to begin within the next three months and were in keeping of the development of the North Coast growth pole. 

He said the ministry would lead immediately a project at Maracas Beach aimed at improving the facilities there. 

“In Maracas, the projects approved are the construction of the North Coast Road Diversion which would solve the problem of a road passing through the carpark on one side and vending facilities on the other. So that the road would be designed ... so that all of these facilities would be contained and the road would be designed for free access and passage so that you would not have the traffic stops and traffic jams; the raising, grading and repaving of the carpark, the construction of a new utility  corridor, the supply and installation of a new waste water treatment plant, the demolition of existing vending huts and the construction of new vending huts, toilet facilities and an administrative office,” Tewarie stated. 

He said there were also plans to construct a boardwalk and integrated sand retention system there. 

He added: “Total allocation for this (project) which is going to be done in the mid-term review of the development programme and would be executed by the Ministry of Works would be $32 million. 

“This is not the entire cost of the project which will be approximately $78 million. But this ($32 million) has been allocated so that the work of construction can begin almost immediately.” 

It would give citizens and visitors an opportunity to enjoy that very beautiful part of the country, he said.

Tewarie noted there was a previous development plan under the People’s National Movement (PNM) government but the projected cost was $260 million.

Tewarie assured vendors they would be able to continue their business during construction of the new vending huts. 

“People will continue to go to the beach so you would continue to need services. You would not demolish the vendor’s huts first. ...You would have a programme of construction and transition. He said construction would start within the next three months.

 He said in the North Coast area there are four major centres, which included Maracas, Las Cuevas and Blanchisseuse. He said Government was focusing on how to bring the principles of sustainable development to bear on these facilities.