A DEVELOPER at Upper Bournes Road, where residents have expressed concern about a possible landslide, has been putting measures in place to address possible soil erosion, reported Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat.
He was responding to an urgent question in the Senate on Monday on what measures were being taken by relevant agencies to address a threat posed to residents of Upper Bournes Road and the surrounding area by a potential landslide which could result in damage to nearby homes and buildings.
Sunday Newsday exclusively reported this weekend about the multi-million-dollar real-estate development at Fort George known as The View. It is a project of developers Home Solutions Ltd on land owned by the Guardian Holdings Group and staff.
Residents below the development have expressed concern about a possible landslide and their houses being buried.
Home Solutions Ltd architect Ronald Ammon had told Newsday the company was going through all the statutory approvals and had submitted drawings for approval by the Diego Martin Regional Corporation.
Rambharat told the Senate late last year the Local Government Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry, which is responsible for state lands,had begun taking note of the private development.
"In speaking to the contractors on site, of particular interest to us was the risk of rain and the potential for flood coming down that hillside with the removal of the grass and trees normally there to hold the soil in place."
He reported discussions continued with the contractors through the covid19 period, and the contractors asked Government to let them do certain work during the covid19 restrictions to deal with the possibility of problems with the soil if the rains came.
"The contractor has been taking appropriate steps to contain any risk."
He said the regional corporation, Agriculture Ministry and the Environmental Management Agency continued to monitor the situation and ensure steps are taken, particularly given recent weather patterns "to ensure no risk to houses just beneath the development."
Opposition Senator Wade Mark asked what specific steps had been taken by the developer and the agencies to avoid anything "untoward" happening to the residents with the "emerging landslide."
Rambharat said there has been accelerated benching of the site, which would reduce the potential for soil erosion, as well as accelerating work on drains to ensure water runs off and does not come on to the Upper Bournes Road area. He added that the developer has put in place emergency measures including having water and access to equipment on site in the event that unusual rainfall brings further damage.
He also said the developer has been in constant contact with residents through representatives on site.