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Clear lots ‘or else…’

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

Clear lots ‘or else…’

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IF YOU ARE a property owner with bush on your land, you may want to consider clearing it quickly.

That’s because Government, through its recently started debushing programme, will be clearing that land and sending landowners the bill.

Principal Environmental Health Officer Maurice Gaskin made this clear on the weekend as he spoke at a sensitisation lecture on rodent control, held at Princess Margaret Secondary School in St Philip.

“The Government has just started the debushing programme on Monday. It was started at my polyclinic in Six Roads and we’re glad for that because it allows us to get a lot of lots cleaned,” Gaskin said to those gathered at the Southern Zone 4-H Council and Ministry of Health Vector Control Unit lecture.

“The reason why we’re glad for the debushing programme is that once the bush is high, the rat burrows because he knows you can’t see the burrow,” he said, adding that debushing also reduced the opportunity for illegal dumping.

Gaskin said that through the programme, the ministry was keeping note of open lots which had become overrun with bush.

He explained that in his polyclinic catchment area alone, the ministry had issued 256 notices to landowners who had allowed their lots to become overrun.

If they did not heed the notice within the given time frame, Gaskin said Government would clean the land for them, but charge them a bill at 18 cents a square foot.

“These 256 notices are for persons who owned land at Ruby Park, Windward Gardens, Rowans Park and Crane in St Philip; Haggatt Hall in St Michael; Inch Cape Terrace, Coles Terrace and Fortescue.

“What we do is that we serve notices on owners of land and if the person lives in Barbados, we give them 14 days to clear the land. After 14 days, then we go in and we clear it and we bill them for it,” he said.

If the landowner did not live in Barbados, the principal health officer said the department would give them 28 to 30 days to act on the notice.

In the House of Assembly last Friday, Minister of Health John Boyce said the programme would run up to March 31, 2017.

He noted that the $5 million programme would be spent to mitigate the incidence of disease here in addition to helping beautify the island and creating job opportunities. (AD)

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