The Housing Development Corporation (HDC) said yesterday that it is not at war with farmers or with the agricultural sector.
On Friday farmers claimed the HDC had bulldozed crops they had planted as they attempted to clear space for an expansion of the Jacob Hill/Demerara Heights development.
However, Managing Director Brent Lyons yesterday sought to clarify the HDC’s role in the recent clash between farmers and the HDC workers.
“At that development, that is our Jacob Hill/Demerara development the HDC actually has 240 odd units in that development. What we are attempting to do is to expand that development somewhat by building along the existing stretch of road at the entrance of the community,” said Lyons.
“What happened on Friday when we went to clear some of the land, was really proceeded by visits since January 2020. The HDC has been making numerous visits to the site in question and I can say in each of those visit there were no identifiable crops that we’re visible on the site,” he said.
The farmers were expected to meet with the Commissioner of State Lands yesterday concerning the situation. Lyons said they were awaiting word concerning that meeting and in the interim had halted all work on the project.
He, however, denied that any crops had been destroyed by the HDC.
“On all our visits up to January this year, there were no identifiable crops on the land so, therefore, the accusation that the HDC destroyed over $200,000 worth of crops is false. Notwithstanding the HDC has photos and footage of the development on visits that we made notwithstanding we are willing to examine any evidence that the Singhs may want to bring forward in support of their claim and we will take it up from there,” said Lyons.
He said the HDC had plans to expand the housing project by 28 houses.
Guardian Media attempted to contact President of the Trinbago Unified Farmers Association Shiraz Khan for an update following yesterday’s meeting but was unable to reach him.