Saturday 4 April, 2020

DSH horse track construction worker: "Our job is almost finished"

Work on the controversial Desert Star Holding (DSH) project is progressing apace, despite an attempt by former Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny Anthony to stop it.

Over two months ago, Dr. Anthony filed a claim in the High Court against the Government of St. Lucia for entering into agreements with Desert Star Holdings Limited. The claim seeks Declarations from the Court that the Agreements between the Government of St. Lucia and Desert Star Holdings Ltd are unconstitutional, null and void.

The first phase of the multibillion-dollar project, which comprises a horse race track, is currently being constructed in Vieux-Fort.

While many expected work on the project would slow down or be temporarily halted or that Prime Minister Chastanet might rethink his position on the matter, the project has continued with much haste.

A number of persons who have opposed the project have expressed surprise by the amount of work done on the project over the past few months.

When Loop News visited the project yesterday workers were very busy.

According to a worker employed with C.O Williams, a construction company which has several contracts on the project, as it relates to their contracts, they are on schedule.

“Our job is almost finished….and as it relates to the work on the race track itself, we have completed our part,” the worker who spoke to Loop News on condition of anonymity said.

Among some of the contracts awarded to C.O Williams include the construction of roads on the site, culverts and trucking services. Some of its services have been subcontracted to residents of the south.

The construction of barriers for the racecourse and stables are some of the work Chinese workers are currently undertaking on the project.

In 2016, the Government of St. Lucia entered into a partnership with Desert Star Holding Limited for the development of the Pearl of the Caribbean, a development plan for the south of the island. Desert Star Holdings Limited is a management and Investment company based in Hong Kong.

The main opposition party, the St. Lucia Labor Party (SLP) and several other organizations vehemently oppose the project in its current form. They want to see the framework agreement between the two parties changed.

But from all indications, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is not perturbed by Dr. Anthony’s attempt to stop the project, which he said will be of immense benefit to residents of the south and by extension the entire country. Earlier this year, he announced that the first horse race on the track will take place in February.

Government officials would not comment on the project as the matter is before the courts.

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