Friday, February 15, 2013

Highway review committee gives green light to continue project

An aerial view of the highway to Point Fortin
Works and Infrastructure Minister Emmanuel George told reporters on Thursday a report by a special committee reviewing the details of the highway to Point Fortin recommends that the government should proceed with the construction of the highway, including the controversial Debe to Mon Desir section.

However George pointed out at the post-Cabinet news briefing that the report he received in Ash Wednesday appears to be "a work in progress" since it was not signed by the chairman and other members of the review committee.

He said he wanted to present the preliminary findings to the population since the 60-day time limit for presenting the report expired on February 3. The review was done by a special committee chaired by Independent senator Dr James Armstrong.

Government agreed to the review when the Joint Consultative Council suggested that it would one way to end the the impasse between the state and the Highway Re-route Movement led by Wayne Kublalsingh.

The minister said the report contains three important findings, which he described as "good news":
  1. The chosen route (Debe to Mon Desir) is considered superior from “an overall perspective.”
  2. The Highway Re-route Movement’s proposed route was not the preferable one, as it did not provide for traffic growth in the future
  3. The 2007 highway hydrology report was adequate in respect of the bridge and culvert designs for the highway crossings
George said the committee appeared to have a problem with the approach of the authorities to constructing the highway. He said the committee felt there should have been greater consultations with the stakeholders. In addition he said the document states better arrangements should be made for people to be relocated and the process for compensation.

The minister said the Government is prepared to “take the advice and as far as possible accommodate their suggestions and recommendations as we proceed to build the highway.” 

Kublalsingh told local media George referred only to a selected portion of the report’s executive summary and did not deal with the findings of the committee.

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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