Silent NEPA's poor due diligence triggered sand saga, suggests NRCA
Chairman of the National Resource Conservation Authority (NRCA) John Junor, is suggesting that poor decision-making by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) triggered the sand removal saga involving a major hotel investor.
NEPA has been silent on the issue.
But, according to Junor, NEPA overlooked a key component of a quarrying licence issued to Karisma Hotel and Resorts.
He says as a result, NEPA ended up making an error in saying it had no objections to Karisma removing sand from one of its properties in Negril, Westmoreland to Llandovery in St Ann.
Meanwhile, speaking on RJR's Beyond the Headlines, Junor says the government made an error in saying that the economic value of the hotel investment outweighed all other considerations.
Environmental advocates have accused environment minister, Robert Pickersgill, who made the statement, of showing disregard to the environment.
According to Junor the statements were wrong.
However, he notes that the country's reputation could have suffered
In making the controversial statement on Monday, Pickersgill announced that he was withdrawing a cessation order his ministry previously imposed on Karisma Hotels and Resorts.
The order, which quashed other orders by Cabinet ministers, prevented the company from transporting the sand.
Meanwhile, Karisma Hotels and Resorts has said it is satisfied with the outcome of discussions which led to the resumption of operations at its property in Negril, Westmoreland.