Diamond homeowner could be charged for drilling unauthorised Well
A homeowner could be charged with negligent behaviour for causing the State and other citizens millions of dollars after he drilled an unauthorised Well which caused tremendous damage to his and nearby properties at Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD).
Soowmauth Gorakh, a businessman and father of three, could face serious legal consequences if recommendations by the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) are to be implemented.
About two months ago, he was drilling a domestic water Well in his backyard without permission from the relevant authorities.
His illegal activity caused tremendous damage after the Well erupted, spewing mud, gas, water, rocks and other debris as high as 40 feet in the air. It also cost the State millions of dollars to recap the well.
The CDC recommended that the homeowner is charged, in order to deter other residents of the coastland from drilling unauthorised Wells.
Currently, the businessman can be charged under the Wate
r and Sewage Act but this will only result in a fine of $50,000, which the CDC said is not worth the time for the case.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is, therefore, exploring other options.
The report also recommended that the man who drilled the Well is arrested and charged for illegal drilling.
It also recommended that residents who suffered damage file civil proceedings against the homeowner.
After close to one month of work, the Well has been recapped and the surrounding areas deemed safe, according to the report which was submitted by authorities to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.
It was recommended that the site, which has been rendered high-risk for habitation, should be handed over to the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission for further assessment on how to utilize the natural gas.
Meanwhile, the CDC will be coordinating with the hydrometeorological office to roll out public awareness campaigns on the dangers of Well drilling on the coastland which is saturated with pockets of natural gas.