Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 18th 2014 Contents A11
Thursday, September 18, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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The Land and Marine Resources
Ministry has referred the Carenage
Fishing Centre project to the
Finance Ministry to probe, since
almost $19 million was spent
towards construction in 2009 under
the PNM Government and only a
shell was produced.
Making those points in Tuesday s
2015 budget debate in Parliament,
Land and Marine Resources Minister
Jairam Seemungal said he had asked
Finance Minister Larry Howai to look
into the situation.
He added: "Close to $19 million
spent on this and not even a roof! It
was not in the Agriculture Ministry,
and Fisheries had nothing to do with
it. It was under Community Devel-
opment. So I ve asked the minister
to investigate and see what tran-
Seemungal said the Carenage fish-
ing centre was developed by the
Community Development Ministry
under the PNM administration in
2009. Since there was no consultation
with the fisheries sector on it, he said
he spoke to the ministry s permanent
secretary and Nipdec and obtained
He said it was found that $1.4 mil-
lion was spent by one K Jamison and
Associates Company Ltd for con-
ceptual and supervisory consultant
designs for the structure, and a $16.5
million award was also made to Mon-
tex Trinidad Ltd in December 2009
to build the centre.
Seemungal said it was projected
to be completed in four months to
accommodate 108 fishing vessels.
But, he said: "Today the project
remains just a shell: no roof, no facil-
ity, not even a place for the fishermen
to fix their net. When I enquired from
the Fisheries Division what transpired,
they said the Community Develop-
ment Ministry had no consultation
whatsoever on this facility.
"So they designed and awarded
the contract without consultation
with the Fisheries Division, which is
in touch with the fishermen. When
I enquired how many fishermen were
there, the initial figure I was told was
seven fisherfolk and vessels."
He said there were over 130 vessels
at Cocorite and over 100 at another
"So one wonders what happened,
why this facility started when no work
was done on the other two and why
the Diego Martin West MP (Keith
Rowley) keeps coming here and bul-
lying the Government that we must
fix the centre," he added.
Seemungal said the fishermen
would have the Carenage fishing cen-
tre after the investigation into the
project is completed. Also, $300 mil-
lion is being spent to upgrade all other
He said the ministry was chal-
lenged by land-grabbing by people,
especially in the East-West Corridor,
who owned HDC houses, rented
them out and grabbed state land,
some as many as five lots.
Seemungal also warned people sell-
ing state land that it involved a serious
charge of fraud and he had recruited
National Security to clamp down on
that. The ministry also hired private
security to patrol and assist with
managing state land. So far 600 illegal
buildings have been removed.
The ministry, which has regularised
100 of T&T s 350 squatter sites, is
seeking to deal with squatters on pri-
vately owned lands in an arrangement
with owners. Ways of working this
out will be explored. Seemungal said
900 more leases were to be issued
to former Caroni workers, including
800 by year end. The majority will
be completed by next March.
Members of the Shiv Shakti Dance Group entertain patrons during the PNM San Fernando East dinner,
titled The Jewel, on Saturday night at Paria Suites, La Romaine, San Fernando. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
Minister: $19 million Carenage fishing centre under probe
SHIV SHAKTI DANCE
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