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JET calls for transparency on North-South Link land deals

Published:Friday | October 3, 2014 | 10:40 PM

The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) is demanding greater transparency from the Government in its deal with China Harbour Engineering Company, the developers of the North-South link of Highway 2000.



Chief Executive Officer of JET, Diana McCaulay, says the group is concerned that Jamaicans have not been told about government lands which are to be given to China Harbour as part of the concession agreement to construct the highway.



During Wednesday's sitting of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee it was revealed that China Harbour is entitled to 1,200 acres of lands.



It was further disclosed that the company has submitted a proposal to acquire and develop lands next to the major tourist attraction, Dunn’s River Falls.



The committee was also told that the Government has started the process of identifying large tracts of lands which could be made available to the Chinese.



According to the JET CEO, this situation highlights the wrong ways to go about development.



McCaulay says the government should have done a full environmental impact assessment of the lands in the areas identified for the North-South link of Highway 2000.



She says by doing this, the government and the rest of the country would be given a clear picture of the development project and all possible hazards.



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