Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 15th 2014 Contents A6
Saturday, November 15, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
There was no confirmation yes-
terday on whether any changes to
Cabinet portfolios or other govern-
ment framework would be under-
taken as a result of yesterday's
lengthy government retreat in Toba-
go.The Cabinet met all of yesterday
at a private session at the Magdalena
Grand Hotel to assess its status and
future direction as T&T moves
towards a general election next year.
Members met in the morning and
began a second session from 3.30
pm into the late evening.
Participants also included former
ministers such as MP Collin Partap.
Communications Minister Vasant
Bharath, who said on Wednesday the
session was meant to reassses the
Government's position and see "what
works and what doesn't work," was
unavailable to speak about the out-
come of the retreat.
People's Partnership officials had
said recently some changes to the
Cabinet had been expected after the
2015 budget debate was over, but
couldn't confirm if this would hap-
pen after the retreat.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar opted out of a CCTV
launch at Scarborough where she
was scheduled to speak yesterday,
in order to attend the evening retreat
National Security Minister Gary
Griffith, who attended in her place,
spoke briefly and returned speedily
to the Magdalena session.
No word on
The winning key drawn yes-
terday on Crime Watch was
If your key at the back of your
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Heavy, persistent rainfall over
the past few days has left Ministry
of Works teams swamped with
reports of land slippages across
So said Director of Highways
Roger Ganesh in an interview with
the T&T Guardian yesterday.
Apart from land slippage on the
Claxton Bay overpass, he said, "We
had a lot of other failures across
the country: land slippages in
north, east, west. We had a lot of
rain over the past few days and we
are still assessing the damage."
In addition to the recent collapse
of part of the shoulder of the new
highway from Debe to Golconday,
Ganesh said south Trinidad had
seen more land slippage.
"We also had a failure on the
connector road opposite the Vehicle
Management Corporation of T&T
(VMCOTT)," he said. "Apart from
the one on the new highway, we
have had other reports as well."
Recent rain and poor drainage
in Claxton Bay are mostly to blame
for the land slippages in the area,
"We are doing some emergency
works there right now," he said.
But he added the number of
heavy vehicles using that roadway
was also a major contributor.
"The excessive amount of heavy
vehicles using that ramp com-
pounds the problem.
"It will be repaired, once the
weather holds up a little. It should
be done within in the next week
He said the area was known for
its unstable soil type and more
emergency work had been sched-
uled to treat with this.
"If you notice the whole ramp,
north to south, has been unstable
for quite some time. We have works
planned to repair the ramp itself:
there is a little drain there that
caused this failure.
"We are going to start emergency
works on that very, very soon."
Roads cave in after
heavy rains swamp T&T
Heavy rain over the past
few days has caused a
portion of the Claxton Bay
overpass, including the
pavement, to collapse.
The T&T Guardian visited
yesterday and spoke to
"Since weekend the land
start sliding away," said
Nicholas Francois, who lives
at Forres Park Trace. "They
(Ministry of Works) only
come Thursday and put up
some caution tape. They eh
do nothing else."
Francois said the landslip
has been steadily getting
"Every day, more and more
caving down. Just now it
might not have a road for
people to drive on," said
Tobago crime has been reduced by
39 per cent, including tourist-related
crime, says Carl Francis permanent
secretary in the Ministry of National
He announced this at yesterday's
launch of a CCTV base at Scarbor-
Francis said Tobago had 69 CCTV
cameras which were increased to 187
They are located on highways, ports,
seaports, roads and places of interest,
all determined by police.
But the Tobago House of Assembly
(THA) will determine where more
CCTV cameras will be placed, includ-
ing tourist locations.
He said the National Operations
Centre will also be involved in the
CCTV initiative, including surveillance
and video camera feed, and this would
allow real-time monitoring which
could prevent minor issues escalat-
Francis said other assistance for
Tobago includes weekly visits by the
Inter-Agency Task Force, search-and-
rescue missions, maritime patrols,
hot-spot surveillance and targeting
persons of interest, plus a permanent
base on the island for the army and
A Coast Guard base at Charlotteville
will also strengthen border and mar-
...Crime down on the
Govt retreat in Tobago
THA chief secretary Orville
London commended the various
agencies for bringing crime down
from its previous, less than
acceptable levels, and repeatedly
commended National Security
Minister Gary Griffith for his
London challenged all to do better
than the 2013 statistics.
Tobago's mantra is now "Clean,
Green, Serene and Safe," he said,
and a secure environment was
important for economic and
The CCTV launch would build
confidence and locals and visitors
alike could feel safe, he said, calling
on Tobagonians to recognise their
responsibility to aid the effort.
"Let's mind each other's business
with respect to crime. Every phone
can be a weapon against crime if
we use it well. Let's talk when we
see suspicious things happening in
communities," he urged.
London said Tobagonians must
not allow criminals to feel
Griffith said Tobago now has a
quarter of the CCTV cameras in
Government was also examining
the security risks in ferry travel, he
LONDON THANKS GARY
A truck transporting heavy machinery moves along the Claxton Bay overpass near one of the areas that
collapsed last week owing to land slippage. PHOTO:SHARLENE RAMPERSAD
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