Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 11th 2014 Contents A17
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Residents of Malabar in Arima have
rejected a proposal by the Ministry of
Justice to put up a judicial complex on
a piece of land originally reserved for a
At a meeting of the residents last week,
chaired by mayor George Hadeed, the
residents were unanimous in their con-
demnation of the decision to site the judi-
cial complex in their area.
Hadeed, who chaired the meeting, said
he had been told at a meeting with staff
of the Ministry of Justice that the land
opposite the Malabar Phase IV Commu-
nity Centre had been selected for the
complex, which would include five mag-
istrates courts and two supreme courts.
The mayor said although he had been
invited to what was described as a con-
sultation with the ministries, he was told
tenders had already been issued and that
the advertising period was already closed,
with work due to start in August after a
contract had been awarded.
He said when he asked if there had
been any consultation with the residents
of the area he was told no, and pointed
out that it was well known that the pro-
posed site was zoned for a shopping com-
plex for what was considered one of the
largest housing developments in the coun-
try.Councillor for the Malabar area Anthony
Garci said he had been in discussions with
the residents associations for both Phases
III and IV and was aware that they had
been looking forward to the shopping
centre planned for the community.
He said both he and the residents were
taken by surprise that the area earmarked
for it was now going to be used for a judi-
What was worse, Garcia said, was that
the decision was taken without any con-
sultation with the community. He said
the Ministry of Justice owed it to the res-
idents to explain why their plans for a
shopping complex were being replaced
by a judicial complex.
The councillor said he had received let-
ters from the residents association sug-
gesting there was concern over the pro-
Garcia s concerns were endorsed by
Anthony Johnson, who said he had written
to the councillor on behalf of the residents
of Phase IV, who said the proposal rep-
resented a threat to the community.
He mentioned a recent report of a wit-
ness being murdered outside the Arima
Magistrates Court and expressed fear that
residents would have to contend with the
threat of criminals and their associates
in the community.
Pointing out that a similar proposal had
been rejected by the residents of nearby
Trincity, Johnson said residents of Malabar
were rejecting the proposal for the same
His concerns were supported by Antho-
ny Jones of the Phase III residents asso-
ciation, who said in 2011 residents were
invited to a consultation by the Ministry
of Planning ona plan for the Arima area
which involved several facilities that had
not yet come to pass.
Since then, he said, the residents had
been against any proposal for a judicial
complex and agreed to form a committee
to report in 30 days to then deputy mayor,
Patricia Metivier, under the previous Peo-
ple s Partnership Arima Borough Council
He questioned why anyone would want
to move the court from a commercial area
to a residential community already subject
to major traffic congestion on O Meara
Road, which is the leading artery into and
out of the area.
"What does this do to the value of your
property?" he asked the residents.
Jones suggested alternative sites in
Wallerfield, which had been scheduled
for the fire services, as well as Golden
Grove, as these were already close to the
highway and offered the advantage of also
being close to the prisons, while not being
in a major residential community.
Several Malabar residents echoed similar
sentiments and the meeting agreed to
convene a larger grouping, including other
Malabar phases as well as the wider Arima
community and surrounding areas.
The mayor, who was accompanied by
Arima councillors, also agreed that his
office would not sanction any proposal
to move the judicial complex to Malabar
without the support of the residents, and
said he would instead seek a meeting with
the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of
Planning, the Housing Development Cor-
poration and other stakeholders.
The meeting is scheduled for June 28
Malabar residents reject
plan for judicial complex
A woman with six aliases and several addresses
has been sentenced to three years hard labour for
conning three people out of $53,000 in total.
Alicia Ramnath, 30, aka Alicia Brown, Kimberly
Lakhan, Geeta Singh, Karissa Geeta Ramjattan and
Monique Barua, changed her not-guilty plea to the
three charges to guilty.
Ramnath, whose last known address was Trincity,
has been in custody since 2011, when she first appeared
on several charges of larceny by trick and was denied
bail.On Monday she appeared in the San Fernando
Magistrates Court before Lisa Ramsumair-Hinds,
who re-read three of the charges to her. She pleaded
Ramnath took money from the people as a down-
payment for vehicles she never delivered.
On February 24, 2011, Ramnath took $30,000 from
Ria Rampersad as a downpayment for a foreign used
Between February 15 and 21, 2011, she took $18,000
from Jaipaul Ramroop as a downpayment for a maxi
taxi and on April 18, 2011, she stole $5,000 from
Denzil Seepersad. The charges were laid by Cpl Popan,
PC Bassarath, and PC Ramdath of the Fraud Squad.
Ramnath also has two previous convictions and
matters pending for similar offences.
She also ordered that time spent in custody should
be discounted from Ramnath s sentence, which means
Ramnath will serve only a few more months in jail.
Independent Liberal Party (ILP) and UNC coun-
cillors squared off on Monday at the last statutory
meeting of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional
Corporation (CTTRC) over an issue involving ten
acres of land.
The showdown began when UNC councillor Dhan-
raj Saroop tabled a motion for the acquisition of ten
acres of land next to the Sheffield Sports Club on
the Mon Jaloux Estate in the Las Lomas area.
Saroop said the land was needed for the extension
of the existing recreation ground which would include
building a pavilion.
But ILP aldermen Sunil Ramjitsingh and Barran
Rambarran opposed the motion, saying it would be
better to relocate the recreation ground. They said
the privately owned land was earmarked for sale and
The ILP councillors backed up their argument with
signatures they said were from members of the com-
munity and a letter from the captain of the Sheffield
Sports Club saying he supported the relocation.
However, Saroop countered that by reading a letter
from the chairman of the club, Jawahir Joseph, saying
no authorisation had been given to write such a let-
ter.Saroop also said several residents whose signatures
were presented by the ILP aldermen to support their
claims were saying they did not give their support.
CTTRC chairman Henry Awong did not put the
request to the council but said a site visit would be
necessary, as well as further information from the
Awong said he also received a letter from Ian
Thompson, the owner of the land, who said his father
Gill Thompson, had given the land for public use
He said he did not have written evidence from
residents that they did not support the relocation of
the ground and he needed to hear from them.
Ramjitsingh, the ILP s media relations officer, did
not respond to questions e-mailed to him on the
Fancy Indians on show during the Sugar to Energy Festival
Street Parade along the Southern Main Road, Couva on
Sunday. PHOTO: VINDRA GOPAUL BOODAN
Con woman gets
ILP, UNC councillors
clash over land
SUGAR TO ENERGY FESTIVAL PARADE
Links Archive June 10th 2014 June 12th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page