TIME is running out for the Choc Cemetery at Vigie, which falls under the aegis of the Castries Constituency Council (CCC), with its lifespan estimated at two and a half years.
Castries City Mayor Peterson Francis predicted the cemetery’s end at a press conference Tuesday, claiming that the CCC has an ambitious plan to keep the burial ground operational.
Part of that plan includes reclaiming land costing the CCC $1.6 million which Francis said would provide 450 burial spots and the recycling of portions of the burial ground to create about 600 tombs.
“After these two activities, we must announce the death of the cemetery. We cannot go anywhere again. We are looking at our options,” Francis said.
Meanwhile, other endeavours the Council was mulling over includes the purchase of a backhoe for $144,000 to end the practice of paying contractors for use of their equipment.
“We have also purchased a garbage truck for the hauling of waste,” Francis said, explaining that this was done in an effort to eliminate garbage by the roadsides within the city that contractors hired by the Solid Waste Department default on.
The city police, which was reorganized and restructured in December, is being held up as the Council’s prized success story.
Since December, the department has been able to handle 14 offences dealing with possession of dangerous weapons, 7 offences of indecent exposure/urinating in a public place, 3 offences for possession of controlled drugs, 1 case involving 250 grammes of cocaine and 2 offences of confiscation of liquor/vending without a permit.
The city police’s success to date also includes seven cases of unlawful assault, 5 offences of resisting arrest, 2 cases of robbery, 7 incidents relating to threatening words, 2 cases of damage to property, 3 cases involving stealing, 2 cases of unlawful fighting and 5 cases of disorderly behaviour.
Francis also spoke of beefing up the city police numbers to include mobile patrols and strengthening the 24-hour service it provides.
“Since (December), there have been a number of success stories. While we will not blow our own trumpet, we believe that with the additional officers to be added to the current pool very soon, we will achieve part of what we want in the city,” Francis said.
He called on St. Lucians to speak out against crime in the city and report criminal activities.
“We all want to see a reduction in the crime rate, reduction in robberies and other transgressions. But no one is willing to speak out against such crimes, take action, report the matters and step up and make an example of these transgressors,” he said.