Trade unionist, Ray Roberts has labelled as an “utter shame” one of the sites identified as an alternative for the relocation of the Camerhogne Park.
Sen. Roberts, the leading figure on The Save Camerhogne Park Committee was updating members of the media on the work done so far by the grouping.
He identified the site as Knight’s Inn, which was once a hotel and at a later stage a military camp of the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA) during the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution.
Members of the committee took the media to the site last Thursday, which is in close proximity to the popular Restaurant and Bar known as Umbrellas.
According to Sen. Roberts, this area is no where close to being conducive for the patronage of people who will be using the facility.
“This is an adult area, this is where adults entertain themselves. There is a constant flow of alcohol, pleasurable activities that are conducive to seniors. This is not the views of the committee, we oppose the movement of it but this is the government’s view because this is the new Carmerhogne Park,” he told reporters.
Sen. Roberts stressed that the world-class development that the government speaks about will not tie in well with the location of the park and the ones who will be using it.
“Is this the world class (facility) to get kindergarten boys and girls, who are in Pre-Primary and Primary school? Is this what the government gonna expose children to?
“Grenada has a chronic problem of alcohol, not me saying so, it’s the World Health Organisation – this is what I heard from the Drug Committee in the Ministry of Education, so this is the present that the Prime Minister would want to see for the young people of this nation.
“…This great developer, this billionaire developer (Egypt billionaire), he loves the people of Grenada and that is where he is going to dump the children of Grenada? This is where Camerhogne Park will be, a stone throw from the popular Umbrellas and as you would see for yourself there is no beach front as in Camerhogne Park for the natives.
Sen Roberts stated that the area is not appropriate and the committee would not accept this alternative site as it feared the young people will be influenced by the surroundings.
The Grand Anse Cemetery is the other alternative site for the relocation of Camerhogne Park.
Sen. Roberts said the committee welcomes development in the area but will not stand for the cemetery to be used as any alternative location.
Friend of Save Camerhogne Park Committee, Jude Bernard who also addressed the local media said the acre and a half of land space adjacent to the Coyaba Hotel will not be enough for the facilities that should be provided with a park.
“In terms of sheer land space, it’s very far (and) inferior in terms of the space and when you look in terms of the convenience…their rooms are pretty much over the fence…we look at even the beach, it’s not a beach…it doesn’t really compare”, he said.
“…The facilities that have been promised in terms of the facilities and the other stuff (like) putting a car park, it is just totally inadequate. To me (it) is a very shameful excuse for the word alternative, it is just not fit,” he added.
Also speaking on the proposed location was a representative for the Spice and Craft Centre, Halim Abduwali, who was in agreement with the stand of the committee to shoot down the alternative sites.
He accused the Mitchell-led government of having its development priorities wrong.
“…I say so because most times we hear it echoed that development is coming our way and the developer would give us this and give us that. In so doing what we have been doing is we’ve been giving away our heritage and to me development cannot be development if it does not include people.
“…I think it’s (a) disgrace, it is a shame, it is a betrayal of the trust that the people of Grenada have put into those they have elected to represent us and represent us well so that years after, when we would have passed, generations to come would have remembered the good thing that we have done rather than look back in shame and say those people are crazy..
Abduwali believes that the park has already been sold by the NNP administration to the developer.
“I don’t have any proof based on what is happening. In our tradition, you have what is called oral contracts. So some kind of agreement has been made…it’s a sellout because if you are our custodians at every step of the way, the people must be involved. You can’t just do something like that and inform the people afterward – that is total disrespect, lack of trust and the stewardship of those we have chose to lead us,” he said.