Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Government, JCC reach compromise; highway project to continue

Works Minister Emmanuel George met for several hours Monday with representatives of the Joint Consultative Council for the Construction Industry (JCC) and both sides agreed that the highway to Point Fortin will continue while the JCC reviews documentation on the project.

Also attending the meeting were 
representatives of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FITUN), the Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute (TTTI) and representatives from NIDCO, the state agency overseeing the project.

George arranged the meeting after Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar passed on a JCC proposal to him. The JCC sent the proposal to the PM in an attempt to end the impasse between the government and environmental activist Wayne Kublalsingh.

Kublalsingh heads the Highway Reroute group that wants a section of the highway diverted. He has said he is prepared to starve to death to achieve his goals.

The JCC's 12-point proposal included an independent technical review of the highway project. 

The minister said all of the parties signed an agreement. "The JCC undertook to examine all the documentation of the project provided by NIDCO and all other relevant documentation and to produce a report within 60 days. Work will continue on the sites of the highway released to the contractor," he said.

JCC President Afra Raymond was satisfied with the meeting. He told reporters there has been agreement on the best parts of the JCC proposal, which includes a moratorium on building the controversial section of the highway.

Raymond said he hopes the agreement would meet Kublalsingh's approval. Last week Kublalsingh promised to end his hunger strike if the government accepted the JCC proposal.

Raymond said his group is looking forward to two important thing, one of which is an end to the Kublalsingh hunger strike. "Whatever is the particular word you use, we will like him to give particular consideration to that," he said. The other is for the Highway Re-Route Movement "to direct some of their documents to the Working Group that we are going to be setting up."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai