Work on Shirvan/Store Bay connector road stopped

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Work on Shirvan/Store Bay connector road stopped

The Tobago House of Assembly (THA) has been ordered to stop work on the Shirvan/Store Bay Local connector road.

On Friday, Justice Frank Seepersad granted the ex-parte injunction to the Environmental Management Authority (EMA) which complained in an emergency application that the requisite approvals have not been granted by them.

The road being constructed is said to be a 2.5 kilometres single carriageway with two roundabouts and a drainage system.

In the application, the EMA’s managing director, Hayden Romano, alleged that the THA, either by itself or through the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development or its contractor, California Stucco Company Ltd, had not applied for a certificate of environmental clearance in breach of the Environmental Management Act and the CEC 2001 order.

Seepersad granted the injunction which will continue until May 31, when the matter comes up for hearing, or until further ordered.

The EMA contends that on May 8, the Division of Infrastructure Quarries and Urban Development started work on the project without applying for or receiving a CEC.

On May 1, the EMA received a complaint from the acting conservator of forest, Darren Henry, that a roadway on stand-owed land in the Friendship area of Canaan, was being cleared. A member of the EMA’s environmental police unit visited the site and confirmed that clearing work was taking place.

Earlier this week, the THA was advised of its obligation to apply for the CEC before starting work and ordered that all work stop until the necessary approvals were received.

“The respondent did not respond to the letter of May 22, 2023, and has continued work on the project,” the application said.

“The Project entails the clearing and excavating of more than two hectares of vegetated land and once the roadway has been paved the environmental impact would be irreversible and permanent.”

The EMA also said the work was progressing at an accelerated speed. It also said this was a matter that concerned the public interest and rule of law as the THA “appears to be acting in flagrant disregard of the law and in potentially irreversible and permanent detriment to the environment.”