A demolition crew descended on the parapet outside Demico House with a heavy duty grader, a jackhammer and a sledge hammer. There was grading and hammering for several hours.
When the dust cleared the concrete borders on the parapet that occupied the reserve for more than ten years were all demolished.
There were mixed reactions from the public to the demolition exercise. Comments of the worst kind were brazenly levelled by passers-by at the government but more specifically at Minister of Works Robeson Benn.
Some even opined that the exercise is another move towards dictatorship.
But most disturbing to some at the scene was the pulling down of the Demico House sign that provided lights to the area at nights. However, there were no major outbursts or confrontations.
Years after being erected in front of Demico House to prevent unnecessary parking, several concrete strips were the target of the Ministry of Works’ demolition crew on Monday.
Minutes after the unit descended upon the location, several persons, including taxi drivers and vendors, expressed their disgust and disappointment at the move. Yesterday there were no major confrontations.
On Monday, three of the men from the demolition crew took turns in using a sledge hammer to chip away at one section but shortly after they abandoned the efforts. One of the crew members said, “This thing needs a jackhammer” and they all boarded a Ministry of Works truck and left the scene.
Yesterday several of the demolition crew members confirmed that the action was being carried out with instructions from the Ministry of Works.
Yesterday Demico House, senior management personnel reiterated that company executives had met with officials of the Ministry of Works several weeks ago and had agreed to the demolition.
The demolition is part of a government’s project to regularise the area. The official confirmed that management knows that the strips as well as the sign for the business are on the reserve and as such the strips were being removed.
On Tuesday a Demico House management official said, “It’s the Ministry’s prerogative to demolish as is necessary and we will not object to any move… We can only abide and comply.”
Yesterday too, taxi drivers remained split on the demolition exercise and some questioned if the barrier have been removed to make allowance for more parking. (Mondale Smith)
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