PM Kamla: Resources distributed throughout TT
By COREY CONNELLY Sunday, October 13 2013
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Members of the Dr Roodal Moonilal School of Dance, hailing from Debe, Penal, perform onstage at a United National Congress meeting at Debe junction on...
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday heaped scorn on claims that development in Trinidad and Tobago was taking place only in areas “south of the Caroni river.”
As she formally commissioned Package C of the $721 million Churchill Roosevelt Highway/Uriah Butler Highway Interchange, the Prime Minister scoffed at statements made by her political opponents which suggest the People’s Partnership Government was only concerned about developing communities in central and south Trinidad, traditional UNC strongholds.
She said the multi-million dollar Interchange and several other projects to be undertaken, including the proposed construction of the Valencia Bye Pass Road to Sangre Grande and the Curepe Interchange, gave credence to the fact that the Government was concerned about development throughout the country.
“Work is taking place everywhere, not just south of the Caroni Bridge as some allege,” she said.
“Resources are evenly distributed throughout the nation.” She added that the tendering process for the Curepe Interchange had already begun.
Persad-Bissessar said the construction of the Interchange at the intersection o f the Uriah Butler and Churchill Roosevelt Highways, which was undertaken by French company VINCI Constructions Grands Projets, will significantly minimise the amount of productive man hours spent on these highways, two major thoroughfares.
The Prime Minister said the main features of the Interchange, which was completed four months ahead of schedule, include the removal of traffic lights at the intersection and the free flow of traffic in all directions — from south to north over the CHR, south to east and east to north.
Persad-Bissessar told motorists that they should exercise caution along the Interchange.
“This is not a racing circuit. We already have too many road deaths,” she said.
Persad-Bissessar also said Government, through its developmental initiatives, had once again put the country on a growth path.
“What was a failed state is now a growing economy,” she said. “While others talk, we do deliver.”
Works and Infrastructure Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan, in brief remarks, took issue with the view that the Government favoured foreign labour as opposed to local manpower.
“That has been a bone of contention but 75 percent of the labour on this project is local content. That is no small achievement. The contractor ensured that local input was enhanced,” he said, claiming that 93 percent of the workers employed on the Point Fortin Highway were locals.
Rambachan said he was pleased that the project, which falls within the ambit of the East-West Corridor and Transportation Programme, had caused minimal inconvenience to commuters during construction.
President of the National Infrastructure Development Company (NIDCO) Dr Carson Charles, Navin Ramsingh, project manager, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and Jean-Xavier Jarsaillon, regional director of the Caribbean Central America, Vinci Constructions Grands Projets also spoke.