TT should do as Jamaica – ban it
Wednesday, April 4 2012
“We have to look seriously at the scrap iron business because it is getting out of hand.” Minister of Works and Infrastructure, Jack Warner, said yesterday.
At the time he was commenting on the recent pilferage of iron from the bridge on the Southern Main Road in Cap-de-Ville, Point Fortin.
He indicated that Jamaica had banned the scrap iron industry, and maybe Trinidad and Tobago should look at its CARICOM neighbour’s experience, and learn from it.
On Friday night scrap iron thieves posing as Ministry of Works employees placed a “ Men at Work” sign in front of the bridge located near the Forestry Division on the Southern Main Road in Cap-de-Ville, Point Fortin and used a welding torch to cut off the support beams from under the structure.
The bridge is a major thoroughfare used by commuters from Cedros, Erin and surrounding areas to get to San Fernando and further afield.
Alerted to the situation, Point Fortin Mayor Clyde Paul in the absence of a directive from the Ministry of Works said he decided to err on the side of safety and ordered the bridge closed, resulting in drivers having to take lengthy detours to get to their destinations.
Paul also issued a call for Government to deal with the scrap iron industry.
Yesterday Warner visited several areas that required remedial work in the Couva South constituency. It was determined that the Balmain Bridge at Calcutta No 2 was structurally strong, and land movement had caused a depression at the approach of the bridge. Hayden Phillip, Head of PURE, promised that remedial work would begin within seven to ten days, and this would be done in phases, so as not to disrupt the flow of traffic. Other areas visited by the Minister and his team were Hong Kong Avenue where two houses are dangerously perched on a river bank, the Freeport Tunnel, Fairview Park and UTT Road, all of which required the attention of the Ministry of Works.
Commenting on the re-opening of PURE, the Minister indicated that he was extremely happy as the restarting of the programme would lead to continued improvements in many of the country’s roads and bridges. He stated that many of the technical staff had left during the period PURE was disbanded and the Ministry was working assiduously to re-staff the programme. This notwithstanding, a proud Warner cited that within a few days of PURE’s reinstatement, the $70 million Couva Interchange was being opened.
Also commenting on the TCL strike, the Minister of Works admitted that his Ministry’s work was negatively impacted, stating that several projects were on hold, including works on the Marion Bridge in Blanchisseuse. However, he remained forever optimistic that with patience the strike would “blow itself out” and things would return to normal.
Commenting on the impasse between Prakash Ramdhar, COP Political Leader, and the UNC over San Fernando Mayor, Marlene Coudray, he indicated that he had made no public statements on the issue so as not to incense anyone, and to allow the leaders to resolve the matter. He said he however remains optimistic of a resolution.