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Puerto Plata seaport is in unsafe and abondoned conditions

PUERTO PLATA. – The old seaport of the city built in 1918 during the U.S. military occupation and received thousands of cargo ships as well as being the point where cruise tourism launched in our country today, is a real danger for sailors.

This structure built into the side of the bay of Puerto Plata near the colonial fortress San Felipe, was the only pier that existed on the north coast where it was exported and imported the entire burden of the Cibao region, the activitydecreased after 1927 port of Santo Domingo was built and  in 1975 when the Dominican government ordered the construction of the new pier, which at the present time is the busiest.

The old pier of Puerto Plata was the setting for the month of March 1971 the transatlantic “Boheme” which opened cruise tourism in the Dominican Republic, promising industry a golden age until the middle of the decade of 1980. This seaport located in a natural bay, protected by the military fort San Felipe and with a breathtaking view of Mount Isabel de Torres, also received the cruisers “Southward”, “Buick Princes” among others who played the old pier, full of tourists, who roamed the streets of Puerto Plata, shopping in gift shops and other businesses, which at the same time left a lot of dollars that energized the economy in the North Coast. Despite its undeniable state of disrepair which increased after the earthquake of September 22, 2003, the old port of Puerto Plata is serving oil tankers and other ships that arrive at this point of the Atlantic, also serves as home port to the fishing fleet consists of more than 38 ships and boats that work at the Bank of La Plata. It is very regretful that government officials do not even bother to perform a cleanup operation in the environment of the old harbor of Puerto Plata, which despite the millions of dollars it brings to the Treasury, has been abandoned, full of trash and debris in addition to dangerous holes and bumps that are a death threat for fishermen and other sailors who dare to work in the maritime terminal. According to research conducted by this writer, the last repair to this old seaport was conducted between the months of October and November 2003, under the supervision of the late engineer Hansel Castellanos, fulfilling a request by the provincial governor, Ginette Bournigal of President Hipolito Mejia Jimenez, which consisted of a whole area decking adjacent to the structure that houses the offices of APORDOM and the Directorate General of Customs.

After reaching the senate for Puerto Plata, Mrs. Ginette submitted a bill to the legislative chambers which stated that 45 percent of the resources generated in the port of Puerto Plata should be allocated for maintenance and adjustment, but unfortunately this initiative was shelved by other local legislators who succeeded in Congress. This old concrete jetty built by the Yankees in 1918 and that all governments have taken a lot of capital, is a time bomb that can collapse at any time because the piles or beams holding it are undermined and eaten away by the passage time and lack of maintenance. Hopefully the authorities of the Dominican Port Authority (APORDOM) and the Ministry of Finance represented by the Directorate General of Customs (DGA) to use some of the millions they make from this old dock to have its urgent repair before one cataclysm happens where life lost of dozens of men who have no choice but to go to sea on a fishing boat to support / feed  their families.

The article was translated from Puerto Plata Digital

Category: DR News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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