When we spoke to the Minister of Agriculture Hon. Gaspar Vega on Tuesday, we asked him to wade in on the controversial size of the buffer zone at Harmonyville. The story was that in the early stages, Harmonyville had been drafted by BGYEA representatives with a buffer zone not as large as this current one. However the Government told them to move their plan a few more feet away from the road side and so they had to go back to the drawing board to make the appropriate adjustments to their plan.
“In fact, the people who decide on the sizes of the buffers or reserves is the Land Utilization Authority. it’s not the Minister or the Commission. It goes to a board, and it’s a board that consists of the public sector, the professional sector, the surveyors, and people from the Ministry. They’re the ones who decide the size of the buffer. The purpose of the buffer is strictly that, a buffer for the road. It’s in case of growth of the highway, for security. It was a big project, and we’re concerned that a lot of times, especially when you come on the highway at older villages, where suddenly you see people just pushing out into the highway, even that the LUA had to consider. I know that probably you might say, well it’s bigger than the ones in the past, but they know why they decided that size of the buffer,”
One of the rumors was that the Government intended to divide part of the large buffer zone into house lots for distribution.
Hon Gaspar Vega
“I can categorically tell you that that is a lie. O.K.? Never was that done.”