Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 25th 2014 Contents A11
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Highway supporters tried to chase
members of the Highway Reroute
Movement (HRM) from outside the
Namdevco market in Debe yesterday,
as the group outlined an alternative
route for the controversial Debe to
Mon Desir segment of the Point Fortin
The proposal is expected to be sub-
mitted to the Government this week in
a last-ditch attempt to redirect the Mon
Desir to Debe segment of the $7.4bn
Solomon Hochoy highway extension.
Dr Wayne Kublalsingh who is on a
hunger strike did not attend the meet-
ing. He was represented by MSJ political
leader David Abdulah who faced
protests from group of Debe residents
calling themselves the Highway Support
Group. Led by Mohini Ramnarine and
Indar Jairaj, they staged a noisy protest
outside the market
"We don t want to hear them. This
highway is for our children and grand-
children," said Ramnarine.
Jairaj said he was fed up with the
HRM s attempts to stop construction
of the highway extension.
"Let them come here on mornings
and see the traffic," he said.
The HRM led a tour of Ghandi Village
and Suchit Trace where they outlined
the alternative route.
Activist Shireen Boodhai said the
HRM was recommending that existing
connector roads be used as linkages to
the new route which has already been
bulldozed and cleared.
"This proposal is based on a main
road, not a four-lane carriageway, run-
ning from the Debe Interchange, across
the main road at Ghandi Village, parallel
to Debe Trace, crossing Suchit Trace,
across Gopie Trace, running parallel to
Raju Trace, crossing San Francique Main
Road and onto the SS Erin Road, south
of the San Francique/ SS Erin Road,"
Highway supporters clash with HRM
Boodhai said this was the best
option as it went around the com-
munities and was less destructive
than the highway route.
"This will be built at the level
and width of other roads and so
will fit into the general road archi-
tecture, not disrupt and fragment
it," she said. She said that there
would be no need for large destruc-
tive interchanges at Penal, Siparia
and Fyzabad, or any overpasses or
"This will save our Treasury bil-
lions of dollars. This will avoid the
Oropouche Lagoon completely and
it will connect the rich grid of
streets already connected to Siparia,
Penal and Debe," Boodhai said.
Abdulah said if the Government
used the alternative route it would
save taxpayers billions of dollars.
"Entire communities will be
saved," he said.
The MSJ leader said he did not
agree with Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar s claim that
because the matter was in court
she could not discuss the HRM s
proposals. Abdulah said disputes
could be solved bilaterally and by
the time the court case was settled
in a few years, entire communities
would be destroyed. He said the
destruction of the environment
would be irreversible, so it was in
the best interest of the country to
continue to lobby for change.
Abdulah also said Kublalsingh
was lucid but growing weak.
Representative for Green Peace
Judith De Verteil supported the
HRM s proposal.
"This route will not interfere
with the wetlands. It means aggre-
gate from the Northern Range will
be saved," she said.
President general of the Oilfield
Workers Trade Union (OWTU)
Ancil Roget urged citizens to work
together to bring sustainable devel-
opment to T&T. He claimed mem-
bers of the Highway Support
Group were paid by the Govern-
ment to disrupt the work of the
A senior official of Nidco said
the existing Mon Desir to Debe
route will not interfere with the
Oropouche Lagoon and work on
the controversial highway segment
HRM member Kishore Ramadhar, left, has a heated exchange with Debe resident Mohini Ramnarine outside the Debe Market following a press
conference by HRM members yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
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