‘Bikini’ fete blocked by HDC

The Hous­ing De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (HDC) has moved to shut down a biki­ni par­ty ad­ver­tised to be held on an HDC com­pound in Arou­ca on Sun­day.

Par­ty of­fi­cials of this week­end’s “Hu­la Cool­er Biki­ni Splash” are now forced to have the par­ty moved to an­oth­er venue as a cease no­tice has been served on the ones be­lieved to be be­hind the La Vie venue.

The HDC, in a re­lease is­sued yes­ter­day morn­ing, dis­closed that the “unau­tho­rised event”, is be­ing planned on il­le­gal struc­tures at HDC’s re­serve land, near Bon Air Gar­dens in Arou­ca.

It al­so stat­ed that the Po­lice Ser­vice has been no­ti­fied of a high­ly-ad­ver­tised event card­ed to take place this Sun­day on a par­cel of land owned by the HDC.

Guardian Me­dia was told that af­ter noon yes­ter­day, of­fi­cials from HDC’s se­cu­ri­ty de­part­ment served the no­tice at the venue.

The ad­ver­tised event, which is sched­uled to take place on Oc­to­ber 27, from 9 pm to 3 am at “La Vie” has not been sanc­tioned by the HDC “and every ef­fort will be made to en­sure that this il­le­gal event, does not oc­cur as ad­ver­tised”, ac­cord­ing to the HDC’s cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ag­er, Dike Noel.

The event, ac­cord­ing to the poster, ad­ver­tis­es two ladies on one tick­et at $300; gen­er­al $200 and at the door $250.

The dress code is “biki­nis and board shorts.”

How­ev­er, a par­ty of­fi­cial, who could not be named, said that a con­tract was signed to hold the event at that par­tic­u­lar venue and added that they did not know that there was an is­sue with the HDC.

The par­ty of­fi­cial added that they were left con­fused as to why their par­ty was sin­gled out while many oth­ers went ahead suc­cess­ful­ly in the past at the same venue.

The of­fi­cial al­so not­ed that while they will be re­lo­cat­ing the par­ty to an­oth­er venue they are cur­rent­ly in dis­cus­sions with their at­tor­neys.

Ac­cord­ing to Noel, over the last two years, the HDC has adopt­ed a firm ap­proach con­cern­ing il­le­gal oc­cu­pan­cy, tres­pass­ing and the con­struc­tion of il­le­gal struc­tures.

“As such, due process will be fol­lowed in this mat­ter to en­sure that these struc­tures are re­moved,” Noel said.

He urged all home­own­ers who are in breach and in­di­vid­u­als who have de­cid­ed to tres­pass and con­struct il­le­gal struc­tures on HDC-owned land, to do the right thing and rem­e­dy the sit­u­a­tion be­fore “the HDC re­sorts to its fi­nal po­si­tion which is de­mo­li­tion.”

“The Trinidad and To­ba­go Po­lice Ser­vice has been no­ti­fied and is ex­pect­ed to pro­vide sup­port and guid­ance in this re­gard,” Noel said.

Speak­ing to Guardian Me­dia dur­ing a tour of Cyprus Hills, Union Hall yes­ter­day, HDC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Brent Lyons said the fete was il­le­gal and will be stopped.

“The HDC wants to ad­vise the pub­lic that we con­sid­er it il­le­gal to oc­cu­py­ing the HDC land and we will be tak­ing all ac­tion to en­sure that this ac­tiv­i­ty will not take place,” Lyons added.

Lyons said the HDC nev­er per­mit­ted the or­gan­is­ers to host the par­ty on HDC land.

Mean­while, Hous­ing Min­is­ter Ed­mund Dil­lon said he was un­aware that the fete was be­ing held on the HDC’s prop­er­ty.

Re­spond­ing to com­plaints from res­i­dents about poor sew­er prob­lems and in­fra­struc­tur­al de­fects, Dil­lon said he has been tour­ing all HDC set­tle­ments since be­com­ing Min­is­ter.

Say­ing he was see­ing first hand the prob­lems faced by res­i­dents, Dil­lon said the HDC will be ad­dress­ing the in­fra­struc­tur­al prob­lems.

He not­ed that the con­trac­tors were on site and had al­ready start­ed re­plac­ing bro­ken tiles and plumb­ing.

Asked what was be­ing done to en­sure that the work was done up to par, Dil­lon said the Min­istry has put a 22 point qual­i­ty con­trol ac­tion plan to en­sure that con­trac­tors meet the cri­te­ria.

“This has been suc­cess­ful in mea­sur­ing the qual­i­ty of work. We are ad­dress­ing in­fra­struc­tur­al is­sues as we find them and we will try to bring re­lief to the res­i­dents,” he added.

With re­gard to a faulty sew­er at Fair­field, Dil­lon said this mat­ter will be ad­dressed in the next few months.