Queen’s Counsel and former Acting High Court Judge, Gerard Farara has said the government’s proposed five-year Recovery and Development Plan for the BVI is much too vague and short-term.
While speaking yesterday at a district meeting about the plan, Farara recommended that government change its proposal to a 10 or 15-year plan.
He added that the plan needs details on how each local sector will be restored and developed.
“If I was to summarize it, having read this document a couple of times, it is long on generalities and short on specifics,” Farara said.
“At this juncture of this country’s development – particularly in light of what has happened in the aftermath of hurricanes – we cannot be dealing in generalities. The public must know the specifics as to what the country should look like … in every aspect,” he added.
Government has said the recovery plan has an indicative cost of $721 million but Farara has questioned how realistic that figure is.
Starting point needs to be established
The former judge said government should research and report the full extent of damages to the territory.
He said such research would assist the government in coming up with a more precise figure in relation to the cost of recovery.
“The starting point in the early part of this report has to have some details about the impact [and] the level of devastation – what has been destroyed, what needs to be rebuild, etcetera.”
“This is the sort of details that must come forward… We must know what is our starting point from here on and then we look at where we want to go from a vision point of view.”
Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said there are reports available about how the hurricanes impacted the territory.
He said information from those reports were not included in the proposed recovery plan because government did not want to overwhelm readers.
While also giving a response, Chairman of the Disaster Recovery Coordination Committee, Brodrick Penn reiterated that the current draft is a skeletal version of the recovery plan.
He said government intends for residents to shape the details that go into the final plan.
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