September 05, 2012:
Minister of Local Government, Surujrattan Rambachan has announced that an inter-agency team, to be spear-headed by the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), will be set up to look into the unresolved issues of chicken farms in the Piparo area.
The Minister made the statement following a stakeholders' meeting at the Princess Town Regional Corporation offices, High Street, Princess Town.
The decision was made by Rambachan after listening to complaints, reasons and interjections by representatives from the EMA, resident Ramona Hansraj, the resident’s attorney Marina Narinesingh, Town and Country Planning representative Naushad Ali, Dr Furlonge representative of the Health Ministry and representatives of the Corporation.
"It is a gross dereliction of duty by the EMA. People have every right to demand a review of the actions of the Authority, but something has to be decided one way or other on how to proceed," Rambachan said.
Hansraj said there were at least eight farms in the Piparo area, several of which are not observing basic health standards. She indicated that there were at least two persons displaying signs of illness as a result of the farms' stench and health hazards. Both persons had to seek medical care and were diagnosed with chests and lung infections.
One farm, she said, has as much as 60,000 chickens.
Rambachan, who acknowledged that the area is an agricultural community, noted that he had seen the condition of the farms during a visit last year and had hoped then that something would have been done by now to resolve the issue.