Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 7th 2014 Contents A5
September 7, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Local Government Minister Dr
Suruj Rambachan says the Gov-
ernment has spent more than $3
billion on 1,832 road upgrade proj-
ects under the Programme for
Upgrading Roads Efficiency (Pure)
since taking office in 2010.
He said it was the constant road
upgrades over the past four years
that depleted the supply of bitumen
and led to the current shortage.
On Thursday, Minister of Energy
Kevin Ramnarine said a shutdown
at the Petrotrin refinery meant that
the bitumen could not be processed,
leading to the shortage.
Meanwhile, Rambachan and head
of Pure Hayden Phillip gave con-
flicting reports on what the bitumen
shortage meant for ongoing road
In separate telephone interviews
on Friday, Rambachan said there
would be no cost or budget overruns
or delays in the delivery of paving
jobs, while Phillip said the work
would "of course be affected."
Rambachan said state-owned
Lake Asphalt had already ordered
the product from a Barbados-based
company and another private con-
tractor was also bringing in a ship-
ment from Jamaica in order to com-
plete roadworks already started.
Lake Asphalt, Rambachan said,
was also mandated to continue
importing bitumen on a weekly basis
until the Petrotrin facility, which
produces the paving product,
"It is a temporary situation," he
He said major paving projects like
the billion-dollar Point Fortin high-
way produced its own paving prod-
uct and as such would not be
He could not say why that same
production facility did not provide
the bitumen needed instead of it
"There are two main projects that
could be affected, one on the Eastern
Main Road being done by Coosal s,
but they are doing a base coating
until the shipment arrives in the
country. The other is near Bon
Aventure, but that would be regu-
lated by September 9 when the
shipment is in the country," he said.
But Phillip had a different per-
"It will affect all jobs in the
process of closing off and the best
person to answer when that will be
rectified would be the Ministry of
Energy because it s a question for
Petrotrin," Phillip said.
"We are just waiting and hoping
it is resolved soon."
Phillip said at the end of the fiscal
year, all jobs were closing off and
as such a lot of work was being
"The East/West Corridor will be
most affected because there are two
sites already milled and cannot be
paved until the imported stock
arrives," he said.
Phillip said this was the first time
that he had witnessed any sort of
"We have had issues where there
were limited amounts and only a
few selected contractors would be
able to purchase. But where nobody
getting any? Never experienced
that," he said. (RS)
Govt spends $3bn on roads
...now bitumen shortage hits T&T
No response from Petrotrin
The Sunday Guardian
Gillian Friday for an update on
the Petrotrin facility and was
instructed to e-mail all queries.
There was no response to
that e-mail regarding the
shutdown at Petrotrin or when
the facility was expected to be
back up and running.
Lawyers for Attorney General Anand
Ramlogan have raised a series of red
flags against the Integrity Commission s
subpoena application to Google Inc.
An urgent letter, sent from Ramlogan s
US-based lawyers, accuses the commis-
sion of a "fishing expedition" as they
claim the requested information from
Ramlogan s e-mail account is far outside
the scope of the e-mails Opposition
Leader Dr Keith Rowley read out in Par-
liament on May 2013.
The Sunday Guardian yesterday
received a copy of the letter from Ram-
logan s US-based legal representatives,
Computerlaw Group LLP, dated Septem-
ber 4, 2014, and directed to legal firm
Perkins Coie LLP, which represents search
engine firm Google Inc.
The letter states that Ramlogan and
his lawyers are aware that the IC request
is broader than the approval already grant-
ed by Ramlogan.
"After reviewing the subpoena sub-
mitted and issued by the court, the doc-
uments requested by the Integrity Com-
mission cover broad categories of records
whose production was not consented to
by the Honourable Attorney General," the
The Sunday Guardian understands that
the IC requested all the e-mails sent and
received from Ramlogan s e-mail address
"firstname.lastname@example.org" for the month of
It does not request a word-specific
search which would be necessary to ensure
that only the e-mails which contain con-
tent similar to that presented by Rowley
last year are sought.
"Compared to Mr Ramlogan s written
consent, the subpoena seeks records well
beyond the scope Mr Ramlogan autho-
rised," the letter states.
"Mr Ramlogan consented to a search
for a production from his Google account
of e-mail content to and from three iden-
tified accounts for e-mails on September
3, 6, 9, 10, 11 and 19, 2012."
The letter also noted that Ramlogan
was well within his rights to object to the
scope of the IC s subpoena and deems
the commission s search tantamount to
an "invasion of privacy."
"By the same token, the subpoena and
application are an improper and unwar-
ranted fishing expedition based on
"Mr Ramlogan is entitled to challenge
the subpoena on the grounds that it is
overboard, unduly burdensome, harassing,
not reasonably calculated to lead to the
discovery of admissible evidence."
Ramlogan: I am defying my
lawyers to clear my name
In a brief telephone interview
regarding the contents of the letter,
Ramlogan said, "I was advised that
I have strong grounds to resist the
application (from the commission)
but I have given instructions to the
contrary because I do not wish to
hinder the Integrity Commission's
case with Google."
Ramlogan said it was important
that he be cleared and vindicated
by an external body like the
commission and the police service.
Ventour: I am not aware
Integrity Commission deputy
chairman Justice Sebastien
Ventour, who is heading up the
investigation, said he was not
aware of this development.
"The lawyers may have it and I
may get it by Monday. I will not be
able to comment on it until such
time," Ventour said in a brief
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, centre, poses with Sarah Jane Waddell, T&T Miss World
representative, left, and Jevon King, T&T Miss Universe representative, at a cocktail reception he
hosted in honour of visiting attorneys general and Caricom delegates to the 19th Meeting of Legal
Affairs Committee and Council of Legal Education at Napa, on Friday. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
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