[www.inewsguyana.com] – Works Minister Robeson Benn on Monday (December 30) called a press conference to vent his frustration over what he says are several misconceptions surrounding the demolition of BM Soat’s fence and other structures at Success, East Coast Demerara.
Benn at the press conference reiterated that the fence and other structures that were demolished by his Ministry on Friday last were on Government reserves and said the Ministry was acting within the ambit of the law.
However, the proprietor of BM Soat, Bashair Mohamed claims that the Ministry went ahead and demolished the structures despite being served with an order prohibiting same.
The fence was also re-erected (temporarily) mere hours after the demolition on Friday, on the same line. A Court order has since been obtained barring the Ministry from further action.
On Monday, Benn said he views this move as an attempt by Mohamed to abuse the judicial system and an affront to the Government.
According to him, the fence had already been demolished before any Court Order prohibiting same was brought to the attention of the Ministry. “It was during the course of the removal of the debris that the Attorney for BM Soat appeared with the Court Order,” Benn added.
The Works Minister said since 2007, BM Soat has been continuously served with notices of violation both from the Ministry and the Neighborhood Democratic Council (NDC). He said all notices were completely ignored which has since cost the Government over $40M due to the now delayed road works.
According to Benn, the land currently occupied by BM Soat exceeds the 57,934.80 square feet vested in him by some 7,797 square feet. Benn provided information showing that the northern boundary, which has been prohibiting the road expansion is exceeded by some 1,306 square feet and the southern boundary by 6,490 square feet.
“The Ministry finds alarming Mr. Mohamed’s attitude of disregard for the rights of the surrounding land owners while at the same time he seeks the shelter of the court for alleged violations of his own. At this moment, he is embroiled in court proceedings with his neighbors to the west for encroaching on their land,” Benn said.
The Works Minister said they will allow the Court to pronounce on the matter finally before deciding what their next move will be.
He warned however, that the Ministry will vigorously pursue the removal of all structures encroaching public roads.