Residents demand relocation as Besson Street demolition continues

Residents of Picadilly Street in Port-of-Spain are again calling on their Member of Parliament or UDECOTT to find a new place for them to live in light of demolition work at the site of the old Besson Street Police Station.

Resident Keisha Scrubb tells CNC3 news that they were given no prior warning of the demolition work.

“We weren’t aware they were going to demolish the building. The only time we knew is when it collapsed.”

The old Besson Street Police Station collapsed last month after a worker operating an excavator destroyed a beam and the building buckled under its own weight.

She said following court action it was agreed that the work site would be blocked off with a partition and a tunnel would be built as a footpath between Besson Street and Picadilly Street. But Scrubb said that system is not working well.

“UDECOTT said they would do a fence 6 feet away from our houses. It’s more like an inch. Neighbours can’t get into their home. The noise in the night from the tunnel is unbearable. The dust from the construction, they don’t even wet it and people developed respiratory problems.”

The residents said they went to Port-of-Spain South MP Marlene McDonald asking for a place to relocate but they were told that all she could assure is that the project will stop on June 25th, due to the court order.

But they are insisting they want some sort of compensation due to their discomfort.

“Yesterday cricket on the TV, you have to put the TV on the highest due to the noise. We uncomfortable!”

Housing Minister Edmund Dillon had told the media that a multi-story complex will be built in its stead which will include commercial activity on the ground floor.

- by Akash Samaroo. Photo by Nicole Drayton.