SCDF wants ‘mess on Pondfill’ seriously addressed next year

CARNIVAL VILLAGE–St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) will seek a meeting with the Ministries of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) and Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI following the Carnival season to discuss what it calls the haphazard erection of tents and other structures along Walter Nisbeth Road during the Carnival season.

Calling it “the mess along Pondfill,” SCDF lamented that VROMI identifies the spots and TEATT subsequently grants the licences without any sort of regulations attached regarding how and what should be built or placed on the spots.

The results are “an ugly-looking string of structures that does not enhance the tourism or Carnival product. Instead, anything that happens out there is blamed on the Carnival foundation. We had visitors who thought that was Carnival Village,” SCDF said.

It pointed out that what had started as a handful of vendors is now growing every year without regulation or supervision.

“We have seen people throwing used cooking oil on the grass, garbage is left lying around, we have gotten blamed for noise pollution coming from the structures, among other things,” SCDF said on Sunday.

“If Government is going to grant licences for roadside vending during Carnival, with the presence of Carnival Village, then we want to have a say in how many and provide suggestions on how they should be constructed that will be actually appealing.

“‘How many’ is important, because Carnival is a Government-subsidised event and Carnival Village must be protected. It is because of Carnival that they are out there, so we should have a say as to what happens during the season.”

Source: The Daily Herald