Kublalsingh cautions Government
By SEAN DOUGLAS and ANDRE BAGOO Friday, February 15 2013
HIGHWAY Reroute Movement leader Dr Wayne Kublalsingh — who led a hunger protest last year over construction of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the Point Fortin to San Fernando Highway — yesterday cautioned Government not to use a report by an independent review committee as a smokescreen.
Yesterday at a post Cabinet press conference, Works and Infrastructure Minister Emmanuel George stated that a report by the review committee had cleared the way for construction of the highway as the State’s route was preferable to the Movement’s alternative route at Mosquito Creek.
Kublalsingh challenged this but said he could not speak publicly on the report until midday today, due to prior arrangement with the Review Committee to not make public comments until the report is out in the public domain.
“I’d caution Government to speak truthfully about the report. It will be published tomorrow (today) in the full glare of the public. It has ten recommendations and an additional five telling government how to proceed with projects in the future,” said Kublalsingh.
“I’ll leave it up to the public and media to look at the report. I caution Government not to take liberties, talk the truth about the document, study it and treat it with great seriousness.”
“A team of 19 professionals in the fields of economics, transport economics, cost benefit analysis and social impact analysis have got together to achieve something that is a landmark document. The Government needs to treat it seriously, not wave it as a smokescreen.” “I’m not allowed to comment until tomorrow (Friday) after lunch. But the document is very clear.
There are 15 recommendations that give excellent advice to the Government as to what to do,” Kublalsingh said
Armstrong: I’ll sign it
Meanwhile, Independent Senator James Armstrong, chairman of the Independent Review Committee of the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway yesterday said he has no problem signing the report submitted by his committee to the State.
“The report was transmitted under the cover of a signed letter. Both went together,” Armstrong said as he sought to explain why an unsigned report was sent to Government.
“If it is an issue that the report is not signed, then I have no problem signing it.”
Questioned over contents of the report, Armstrong declined comment referring further queries to the Joint Consultative Council (JCC). He said he submitted the report to them.
Asked to comment on Works and Infrastructure Minister Emmanuel George’s statements on the report and a claim that it cleared the way for construction of the highway, Armstrong said, “I would not want to comment. There are many recommendations in the report.”
Members of the committee were: James Armstrong (chairman); Louis Bertrand (Social Impact Assessment Specialist); Marilyn Critchlow (Water Resources Specialist); Nico Kersting (Water Resources Specialist); Marlene Attz (Cost/Benefit Consultant); Frances Hanson Lewis (Environmental Consultant); Ken Subran (Senior Property Valuation/Acquisition Adviser);
Grace Les Fouris (Senior Urban-Regional Consultant); Peter Harris (Archaeologist); Trevor Townsend (Traffic/Transportation Planning Specialist); Philbert Morris (Traffic/Transportation Planning Specialist); William Agard (Chair – Engineering Design and Hydrology/Hydraulics Group); Ivan Laughlin (Housing/Settlements Specialist); Carla Herbert (Legal Adviser); Eleanor Jones (Environment Resource Consultant); Eden Shand (Environmental Impacts Assessment Resource Consultant) ; Janice Cumberbatch (Social Impact Assessment Resource Consultant).