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Chinese technicians visit Booby Alley

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Chinese technicians on Monday carried out a site visit at Booby Alley in The Point signalling the start of the preparation phase of the housing development earmarked by the government for the area.

 A housing agreement was signed in August, 2021 between the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and the People’s Republic of China that will result in the construction of 150 two-bedroom units in a turn-key development.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Ambassador Clarence Pilgrim, led yesterday afternoon’s site visit.

In an exclusive interview with Pointe Xpress, he said several key departments in St. John’s are collaborating with eight highly skilled technicians who were deployed by the Chinese government.

These technicians are now formulating a plan to transform the area.

“The technicians are now gathering data and the Ministry of Works. along with other agencies such as DCA, the Ministry of Health through the Solid Waste Authority, are now assisting in providing the data.

“Once that data is complete, then the technicians will return to China on the 23rd December where they’ll then use that information to create a plan which would be suitable for the environment,” Ambassador Pilgrim said.

He explained that it is imperative that careful consideration be given to the location, and other dynamics in the area, before a design is finalised.

“What you see here today is a tangible demonstration of assistance from the People’s Republic of China with respect to their commitment to build the 150 units to house the people of Booby Alley.”

Work to clear the land identified for the development has been underway over the last two weeks. This work followed the relocation of Booby Alley residents and the demolition of their houses.

Although the completed project will bring tangible benefits and improved living conditions to Point residents, there are a small group of people who continue to resist and have refused to relocate. This has delayed the start of the project.

“There are some residents who have not caught on to the vision that we have of creating a brand new urban development and urban renewal site.

“As the prime minister has indicated, the government will be taking steps to ensure that the site is cleared so that the forward momentum of the project will not be slowed,” Pilgrim added.

“We have cleared as much as we can, we are very hopeful that those persons who have not as yet indicated a timeline for them to move would so do, because this is slowing down the process and this is an exciting opportunity for Antiguans and Barbudans to see exactly how we can upgrade an environment,” he continued.

Ambassador Pilgrim said the Booby Alley development will create a model community that its residents can be proud of.

He also noted that similar housing developments will be replicated in other parts of the country.

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