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IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Plants and bush bother residents


MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

IT MATTERS TO MARIA: Plants and bush bother residents

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Residents of Featherbed Lane, St John, are concerned about their safety at a bus stop in the area.

This uneasiness has come after the owner of nearby Halton Plantation planted several plants along the stretch of the road in line with the lone bus stop.

Angry residents said when the plants grew tall, they would have to step out in the road for the bus driver to see them. Furthermore, they argued that criminal elements could easily hide among the plants.

When contacted, Robin Watson, owner of the plantation, was adamant that he was not removing the plants.

A female resident said she had contacted the Ministry of Transport and Works, District “C” Police Station as well as health inspectors to complain not only about the plants at the bus stop, but also about the overgrown vegetation in the area on lands owned by Watson. However, she said this was two months that the plants had been there and nobody had come to do anything about the situation.

“He knows that people use that road,” she said. “On mornings before 5 o’clock people are on that road to catch the 5 o’clock bus. Now everybody is going to be scared to walk that road, especially at night. Those trees are going to get tall, tall, tall like banana trees and we will have to step off into the road when the bus coming. Them things ain’t right.”

The woman, who has been living in Kendal for many years, added that the plantation stretched behind their backyards and it was overgrown with river tamarind trees, in particular, which has led to some health issues.

“We got rats, African snails, centipedes and cow itch, everything behind there, and we are suffering,” she lamented.

Another resident pointed out that Watson and the residents did not enjoy a good relationship “so it useless going to talk to he”.

“How can he block the public bus stop like that?” he charged, adding that many years ago Watson planted palm trees on the opposite side which also resulted in them having to walk in the road.

“Yuh can’t go to he and tell he nothing. When you don’t get the Kendal bus, yuh have to get the Society or College Savannah bus and walk into Kendal and yuh would have to use that bus stop. It want something doing with and all of them trees behind there that causing we real problems fuh years,” the man said.

However, Watson dismissed the complaints from the residents, saying they did not use the bus stop.

“Nobody uses that bus stop. I have been here since 1972 and if three people have used that bus stop, a lot have used it because they usually stay in Featherbed Lane or walk to the main road and catch the bus.”

He added there were canes and bush growing on either side of the road through the district.

“So if that don’t cause a safety problem, I don’t see how my plants will. I am telling you nobody don’t use that bus stop.”

In terms of the trees growing on his lands, he said they had been there since 1972.

“So I don’t know what difference it is. If they would stop dumping things behind there, they wouldn’t get rats, and if they would clean up their properties, they wouldn’t get rats,” he declared.

Asked if he would consider moving the plants, Watson said he would not.

“I definitely am not moving those plants; I have no intention of. When I planted the plants on the left-hand side 20 years ago, they didn’t say anything. Those plants are ornamental bananas; when they get tall they would use them to shelter.

“Nobody ain’t interfering with nobody out here. Trust what I tell you. Out here is one of the safest places out, so I don’t understand what problem they have with these plants here.” (MB)

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