What Is Planned For Cable Beach

Monday 23rd, August 2010 / 09:28 Written by

A few years ago I publicly voiced my displeasure when the former government approved the re-routing of Adelaide Road and gave it to a private developer to build million dollar residences.

The public road was closed off and given to a private developer to enhance its development and provide some employment.

Every time I’m going home from the Coral Harbour area, I cuss them for the inconvenience I’m caused to get home. Now it is the Baha Mar Cable Beach development and again there is talk of road re-routing.

New Providence is a very small island with probably close to 250,000 persons living on it. One looks at Paradise Island and the limited access available.

There was a time when one could go to the airport and travel abroad. Now the airport land is Ocean Club Estates, a gated community. On the opposite end of Paradise Island, access is limited. One is forced to wonder when will the limited access end? Are we in New Providence going to be forced to live in an area packed like sardines? Will Bahamians access to our country continue to dwindle for the sake of a few jobs?

There is a much bigger picture here. If our access is limited today then twenty years from now our grandchildren will have no access. Is the politician thinking that far? Or is he doing what I like to refer to as wanting instant gratification? Gimme it now! I want it now!

I sincerely believe we are setting a dangerous precedent.

A precedent I believe will come back to haunt us maybe not in my lifetime but certainly for future generations.

The fact of the matter is I believe we are being governed by politicians with tunnel vision, are looking towards the next general elections and could care less about 20-25 years into the future. And that is so sad.

I note with interest the role the Bahamas Contractors Association is playing in the proposed Baha Mar/Chinese development. And I believe that the BCA may be acting unconstitutionally. The fact of the matter is that construction is not legislated by the Parliament of the Bahamas. Therefore, there is no such thing as a contractors licence. One has only to pay $100 to the Ministry of Finance and complete a business licence form to operate a construction business and he will be issued a licence.

Which brings me to the point: Who if anyone has authorised the BCA in giving the impression that they are the representative for any legal body – because they are not.

They are nothing more than an association that is perceived to be the representative for the construction industry.

It is unfair to the contractor. Baha Mar development is not obligated to entertain the BCA. In fact, they ought to be dealing directly with the contractor and hiring whomever they wish. Because as I understand the BCA is confusing the issue and pressing the government to put into legislation a complicated set of policies that I believe .will discriminate against the average contractor. In fact, I’m shocked that no one in the business have stood up and started to ask questions. There is nothing stopping any other contractor from forming an association and making representation to Baha Mar or any other development.

I applaud the government for not following up on the pressuring tactics from the BCA to legislate the construction industry. I would like to know who has authorised the BCA to certify contractors? And what does the BCA certification mean? Is it that the contractors not certified by the BCA will not be allowed to be employed? And what if some contractors are never able to meet the certification standards? Where does this leave them? This to me sounds like blatant discrimination.

And why is BTVI being talked about in the same conversation as the I proposed Baha Mar development? The men at BTVI are learning to lay blocks and read a house plan. Who is playing games and why?

With reference to the proposed $2.6 billion project, it seems as if this proposed project was doomed from its inception. The original partners were run out of town. It was criticised by the government. Not one government minister was present at the signing in Miami, or at the announcement in China. I’ve also heard that the Chinese government wants the Bahamas government to guarantee the loan for the development.

One vital question I must ask is what exactly is being proposed for Cable Beach?

At one time the development  was $1.4 billion now it’s up to $2.6 billion.

How will our access be honestly affected in the Cable Beach area?

Each time you see a story on TV touting the development you see a different picture. Are we going to continue to prostitute ourselves for the left over and say to hell with future generations? Why each time a developer sets foot on Bahamian soil his goal is to limit access? My parents and grandparents were born here. How much more  Bahamian can I get? Why do I have to ask for permission to set foot in my own country?

There is something wrong with even the thought! In closing I say the real men who fought for this country must be turning over in their  graves!

Pat Strachan
Nassau,
July 30, 2010

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