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The people of Jamaica are concerned about the fact that the government seems to be using up cultivable lands for building houses. The government is defending its position by saying that this move is sure to bring better development and growth to the country. The Prime Minister has ordered a review of land in Bernard Lodge Estates which has sparked a controversy among the people. A huge well-planned township is being proposed in this estate. It will consist of houses, industries, office buildings and businesses. If this township is erected, it is expected to bring in a positive change in the development sphere.
Planned Townships and Commercial Complexes
The total area of the planned township is around 2,338.5 acres. People are protesting that agricultural lands are being increasingly utilized for purposes other than farming and cultivating crops. This might have an adverse effect in the long term. It does require a lot of planning in order to convert arable lands to townships. The surrounding ecology of the area should not be disrupted due to buildings being constructed. Agriculture, being the backbone of most countries, should not be made the second fiddle in order to promote housing developments. This was the sentiment shared by many people. The government has been trying to identify areas which are currently not being used. These areas will be developed into townships or other commercial complexes. The Bernard Lodge was one of the areas identified in St. Catherine.
Protests against the New Plans
J.C. Hutchinson in a meeting tried to assuage the fears of the people by stating that around 2,000 acres of land will be left unused after building the township. This area will be used for promoting agriculture-related activities. Hutchinson reassured everyone by saying that approval has been received for starting the agriculture-related activities on the 2,000 acres of land. This discussion was held as part of the Hanover Agricultural Show. The Jamaican Agricultural Society has expressed that they are not happy with the land being allocated for building construction purposes.
The President of Jamaican Agricultural Society, Lenworth Fulton, has been actively trying to protest against these new plans.