THE USINE Ste Madeleine Pond, now earning a reputation as a place to commit murder, is to be taken over by the Government and put to use – either for commercial activity or a national park.
So said Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat yesterday. The pond served the defunct Caroni (1975) Ltd from 1960 until 2003, providing cooling water to the sugar factory nearby.
For the past nine months, four dead bodies were found – victims of murder. On Monday, the body of handyman David Conlisse of La Seiva, Sangre Grande, was dumped in the pond. On January 29, Ste Madeleine police found the body of 24-year-old PH driver Richard Beharry in a white Nissan AD Wagon that was partially submerged. He had a gunshot wound to the head.
On December 1 last year, passers-by found the body of 57-year-old Canadian citizen Vishnu Narine on a gravel road near the pond, with a gunshot wound to the face. Cheryl Mohammed’s body was pulled out of the pond on September 31, 2015. There were no visible marks of violence on the body and an autopsy was unable to determine how she died.
Rambharat told the Newsday yesterday government plans to make better use of the lands on the fringes of the pond. “Those lands will be used for either commercial activity or for public purposes,” Rambharat said, adding that it was unfortunate murders were being committed at the site.
Rambharat also he is looking at buildings, the area where the refinery, factory and former staff facility are located west of the pond. The Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs is responsible for the golf course located north of the pond.
When Newsday visited the pond yesterday, villager Hamid Ali was fishing. He said, “People are here everyday fishing and picnicking. The bodies that are found are usually in the bushes close to the road. During school holidays, children come to the golf course to have fun.” Government shut down Caroni Ltd in 2003.
Just over 75,000.00 acres of land became available for use.