Environment Minister Dr. Kenneth Darroux is calling for planned activities at the Batali River to cease until the matter can be discussed.
On Monday, residents of Morne Rachette and Coulibistrie protested against a decision by Wacky Rollers to dredge the river to make way for a river tubing facility at Batali.
“The plan is to try to have some work done on the river to try to increase the flow to the proposed route of the Wacky Rollers operation. From where I sit and from what I have been apprised, I think this is a case of bad public relations and you cannot blame people for from being threatened when their livelihood and their day to day activities are being threatened,” Darroux said.
He said developers have the civic duty to meet with the people who will be affected when such projects are proposed.
“I have spoken to the Planning Division and instructed them that all activities be ceased immediately until we meet with the various stakeholders. By that I mean fishermen, residents, people who use the Batali River for recreation, owners of Sunset Bay. I even suggest that some sort of study be done,” he said.
Darroux said a plan must be put in place and “deal with this thing in the correct way”.
Meantime the General Manager of Wacky Rollers Philip Rolle told a local radio station that he may cancel plans for a river tubing project at Batali.
“I was basically thinking of forgetting about the whole idea. If you want to inherit an industry and you get this negativity, then one has to wonder if it’s necessary because you don’t want people coming in there to enjoy themselves and they get negativity. I guess we just have to sit back and wait until the Layou River is fixed. That means 30 people will be without of a job,” he said.
The company believes residents may have misunderstood their plans.
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