New Hope residents clash with businessman over flooding
Residents of New Hope, East Bank of Demerara, yesterday clashed with a prominent businessman, who is constructing a new housing scheme there, accusing him of illegally cutting drainage channels and causing their homes and farms to be flooded.
However, the businessman, Deo Singh of Didco Trading, is refuting the claims. He told Parliamentarian, Clinton Collymore, that the local Neighbourhood Democratic Council of Caledonia/Good Success is not doing its job of clearing drains and this caused flooding of the nearby residences.
Yesterday, Collymore said that he will be sending engineers to the area to assess the situation and make recommendations.
Singh is hoping to convert the 100-plus acres of land behind the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company exchange at New Hope into house lots but during clearing exercise earlier this year his people cut channels to drains used by the village. Residents, among them Tottil Saygon, also accused Singh of refusing to listen when he was told that his actions would cause flooding. They produced pictures of heavy equipment on the land clearing it.
They also said that they built dams to block the waters from the plot of land but these were always broken by workers aligned to the businessman.
“It is simple…all he got to do is build he own dams and drains. He seh he got money and know big people…This not right. We have to spend we money to fix something he ain’t suppose to break in the first place.”
The NDC said that it had tried to urge the businessman to cut his own channels to the front trenches located near the public road, but nothing was done. Nauth, refuting the businessman’s claims, said that the NDC has been doing its job. He added that the front drains were recently cleared.
“Mr Singh just has to understand that these drains are not capable of taking the waters from his land. He has to prepare his lands properly for the housing scheme with proper drains and other structures.”
Earlier this month, representatives of the NDC said that they are at their wits’ end, with respect to convincing the businessman that moving the dam from its current location will cause great inconvenience.
According to Nauth, this has been an ongoing problem for the NDC and residents.
He said that on more than one occasion the NDC directed the businessman to other proper alternatives to drain his land.
However, Nauth said, the businessman chooses the easy way of draining his land, which consequently affects the residents. He stated that on each occasion when the dam was damaged it was the NDC that did the repairs.