MP Douglas (UP) takes aim at drag racing strip – “Nobody seems to know who gave the permission”POSTED: 10/29/12 1:08 PM
St. Maarten – Dr. Ruth Douglas took a firm stand against the construction of a drag racing strip and a cricket field in the Great Salt Pond this weekend with a press statement that attacked the government and pointed put the negative impact of these projects on the wellbeing of neighborhood residents.
Douglas, a member of the united People’s party faction in parliament, stated that her faction wonders why things are done the way they are being done by the executive branch. “Or should we ask who is really running things here? Are members of parliament pulling the strings of their appointed ministers?”
Douglas pointed to articles 51 and 56 of the constitution. The reference to the first article is confusing, because it simply states the functions that cannot be combined with the membership of parliament. Article 56 contains the text of the oath MPs take after they have been elected.
Douglas states that with her faction she has great concerns about “the blatant disregard of the rules by the sitting government.”
“When the Prime Mister and the Vice Prime Minister clearly states in public that they do not know who ordered the transporting of the sand from the harbor to a specific spot on the ring road, one can summarize that we have no captain at the helm of this ship.”
MP Douglas notes that somebody gave the go ahead for the cricket field and the drag racing strip. “Now minister Marlin has called for the project to come to a halt. And the mountain of sand is just sitting there. Is there any minister in the Cabinet of Ministers that knows anything about what has become the illegal filling of the Great Salt Pond? Somebody has to be held accountable.”
Later in her statement Douglas points out that “somebody filled in a protected area of the great Salt Pond for a cricket field. Somebody agreed to allow sand to be dumped behind the zoo for a drag race strip, but nobody seems to know who gave the permission.”
The MP furthermore wonders how all this is possible without doing prior studies and without having permits in place.
Douglas also threw her know how as a medical doctor at the government, stating that the loose sand affects the wellbeing of neighborhood residents.
The sand is blowing into their homes during high winds, into their bedrooms and their food. It hampers their breathing. This is not healthy.”
MP Douglas stated that the government ought to represent all the people, “not just a few who want to build a cricket field or a drag racing strip. The nuisance law will come into play here. The proximity of the drag racing strip hinders the peaceful way of life of residents in the area. The UP faction is not against a cricket stadium or a drag race track, but the locations are not good.”
Douglas points to “the roar of engines and cars parking all over the neighborhoods” if the cricket field and the drag racing strip become a reality.
She also questions the impact of renewed filling of the Great salt Pond on its retention capacity (to handle excessive rainfall) and wonders whether this problem will be solved by dredging and if so, which effects this will have on surrounding communities.
Douglas also asks in her press statement whether the council of Ministers has met with representatives of the more than ten churches in the vicinity of the proposed location for the drag racing strip to discuss the noise drag racing cars will make. She furthermore wonders whether there is a policy on vehicle racing and who will take responsibility in case of accidents, given the fact that there is no trauma center on the island.