Saturday, January 20, 2018

Protesting Malabar residents: No judicial complex here


Malabar Phase four residents want to stop the construction of a judicial complex in their community. They staged a protest yesterday to voice their disapproval.

Residents said they were only made aware of Government’s plan to construct the judicial complex comprising seven courts, two high courts and five magistrates’ courts, after they saw an article in the newspapers for tenders.

“There was no consultation with the residents. It’s only on July 28 the residents were made aware of the enormity of what was planned for the middle of our residential community,” said Elizabeth Hamilton, executive member of the Malabar Residents Association.

Residents said two power-point presentations were made by the Government, indicating it would add to the development of their quiet neighbourhood. But residents are stricken with fear at thoughts of their children being exposed to criminal elements traversing through the Malabar Phase Four community.

“Next to our early childhood centre? One hundred metres from our secondary school?” one resident shouted.

“Recently, we had an incident where someone was shot outside the Arima Magistrates’ Court. Who would welcome such a development in their community? Why not take something like this into Westmoorings?”

Councillor for the area Anthony Garcia called the Government’s plan deceptive.

“The whole 15 acres has been earmarked for a commercial complex. As the councillor of the area I have been trumpeting the cause to ensure that the commercial complex is erected so that the entrepreneurial skills of the residents can be enhanced,” he said.

He said a meeting was scheduled on July 20 by the Government to meet with residents but it was called off.

Since then, surveyors have been visiting the area much to the horror of the residents who have no representation as their former MP, Anil Roberts, recently left office.

Justice Minister Emmanuel George could not be reached for comment yesterday as calls to his mobile phone went unanswered.