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$47M to fix Pan HQ

By SEAN DOUGLAS Sunday, April 6 2014

HOUSING Minister, Dr Roodal Moonilal, said it will take $47 million to fix the incomplete Pan Trinbago headquarters on the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway.

Speaking on the Finance Bill 2014 last Friday night in the Lower House, Moonilal scoffed that the building had originally been designed to hold two storeys but that someone had decided to insert an extra floor without raising the roof. .

Describing the structure as a “two-and-a-half storey” building, he said the project had never got approval from WASA, so to date a sewer system cannot be installed and the building remains without any water connection or drains.

Moonilal said the building also has no approval to build a road leading to it, being merely serviced by a gravel track.

He alleged other cases of hefty wastage by the former regime. He said an incomplete Gas to Liquids (GTL) building at the Petrotrin compound at Pointe-a- Pierre had cost $170 million for a mere shell structure, quipping, “The ‘crab shell’ is what they call it”.

Moonilal also lamented that the cost of the unfinished Tarouba Stadium had leapt from an initial cost of about $275 million to $1 billion.

He called the three edifices - the Pan Trinbago HQ, GTL Building and Tarouba Stadium — “epitaphs of your bad governance”. As if firing an opening shot for the 2015 general elections, Moonilal said, “Ask the people of Trinidad and Tobago, do you want to return to that?”.

He said many pubic housing units built by the former government cannot now be given out because they were unsuitable for human habitation with some having no sewer system, some built on shifting land and others facing other problems such as electrical systems that spark dangerously.

The former regime wasted $18 million to build public housing at Las Alturas without first doing a geological survey, Moonilal bemoaned. He said the Government has had to spend $100 million to repair sloppy work done by the former regime on public housing projects.

Recalling a 1962 visit by then prime minister, Dr Eric Williams, to Mayaro where a fire station was promised to residents, Moonilal said that promise has remained unfulfilled up until now. Building contractors are currently on-site to construct that fire station, he said.

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