Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 29th 2014 Contents A29
Saturday, November 29, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Regarding the recent extensive dam-
age incurred on a section of the Man-
zanilla/ Mayaro Road, I continue to be
amazed by the apparent lack of under-
standing by all concerned as to what has
happened, and what should be done
The Nariva Swamp is a major wetland
area, being the catchment area for a
large portion of east Trinidad. The rain-
water collecting in the swamp flows out
through many small channels into what
becomes the Nariva River.
This river flows for some distance par-
allel to the coast road, in a generally
southerly direction, before entering the
What happened recently is that after
some heavy rainfall, the water level in
the swamp rose to such a high level that
it broke eastward across the coast road,
causing extensive damage .
Given that the Nariva River, under nor-
mal circumstances, provides the only
way for water to drain from the swamp,
should not common sense dictate that
the first thing that should be investi-
gated is whether this river is silted up or
otherwise blocked ?
Rather than rushing to build a highly
expensive raised coast road, capable of
dealing with abnormally high levels of
water in the swamp, would it not make
sense to investigate whether the level
can be kept down to a normal level by
de-silting the river, particularly where it
narrows at the river mouth?
Gary N Voss
Nariva River needs de-silting
From what I’ve read, Vinci Grand Projects re-
ceived the highest marks for technical competence
in the tendering bid for the Curepe interchange.
This, coupled with an impressive track record,
should be the main factors in the awarding of the
contract rather than haggling over cost. We can see
what they can do and their product is up to interna-
The same cannot be said of any local company.
Oh yes, they can work as sub- contractors, period,
but they certainly do not have the technical compe-
tence nor experience.
And we certainly do not want to see this inter-
change collapse in the near future.
I have been visiting Europe since 1979 and have
driven on some of the most spectacular highways
and can say without fear of contradiction that the
Europeans know their stuff. In fact France has the
most overpasses and interchanges constructed in
So please Dr Carson Charles and Dr Rambachan,
don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.
Maracas St Joseph
mantra that will emit from the anti-government
lobby. Is it now clear enough that the price of oil and
gas depends on the whims and fancies of the big
hitters in OPEC?
Is it now clear that building another MovieTowne-
type development in Invaders Bay, where you will
have to purchase goods and entertainment, will not
diversify the economy one whit?
Bearing in mind that there may be fewer pur-
chasers of food, beverages and clothing should un-
employment figures escalate, and going to the
movies will not be high on personal agendas, is the
image of chasing after fool's gold not staring us and
this government squarely in the face?
But it is too early to predict a drowning of Part-
nership government dreams in Invaders Bay.
The inability to quickly diversify the economy
away from oil and gas has emerged to bite the Gov-
ernment. The immediate fear, with the continuing
drop in oil prices, must surely be the necessity to
curtail spending on our “social programmes” and
other subsidies. The Government has been existing
on rosy projections for the past four years.
The whole country must now face the possibility
of going cold turkey regarding the dip in the quality
of life in T&T. The Heritage and Stabilisation Fund
will undoubtedly cushion the initial financial blows.
The indelible fact is that we are eating and spend-
ing every dollar on perishable items. The food, the
clothes, the shows, the cars, the Carnival costumes.
We, the party animal, will have to be leashed.
I have been particularly alarmed at the growing
trend towards the secularisation and dare I even say
increasing atheism in the celebration of the holy
Christian season of Christmas.
Many advertisements in the print and electronic
media have more “universal” or “politically correct”
texts such as Season’s Greetings and Merry Xmas.
As far I know Christmas is and has always been
the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who for
Christians is God and the King of the Universe. To
use an appropriate adage, Jesus is the reason for the
It would be totally inappropriate to celebrate
someone’s birthday by throwing a party for him or
her and not inviting the guest of honour, the person
for whom the party is thrown. It then baffles me
that we celebrate the birthday of Jesus without even
mention of his name. Christmas is an intrinsically
solemn Christian season, just like Easter. It is a holy
season and holiness pertains to God. We therefore
cannot take away the holiness out of Christmas. It is
not a secular holiday like Carnival or Labour Day.
I therefore call on all the companies that place
Christmas-blessing advertisements in the newspa-
pers and on television to make Christmas about
what it should and must be: the birthday of Jesus
Christ. It is not an opportunity for vague and mean-
ingless platitudes like Season’s Greetings or Merry
Xmas. The reality is that if Jesus Christ had not been
born, there would be no celebration of Christmas.
Let us bring back Christ into Christmas where he
I believe that most well-wishers of West Indies
cricket are, in general, disappointed at the composi-
tion of the team which has been selected to tour
South Africa. .
The selectors and possibly the management
seem not to have learned from the debacle in India.
Cognisance seems not to have been taken of the se-
vere strictures from the ICC as well as the condem-
natory views which have been expressed
throughout the Caribbean. Indeed, opportunity to
send an appropriate message has been lost and one
could be excused were he or she to be apprehensive
about the future of West Indies cricket.
There are many promising young players around
who ought to have been given a chance as replace-
ments for those who have been shown to be contin-
uing abject failures and misfits.
Errol OC Cupid,
Taxpayers cannot sit
silent and allow a poten-
tial Torouba Stadium
debacle to overwhelm
us motorists and com-
muters in Curepe. It is
very clear that Vinci, a
Belgian company has established an unequalled track
record of delivering two imposing and state of the art
overpasses in Aranguez and at the Grand Bazaar inter-
section on time and within budgets.
In respect of the tendering process for the building of
Curepe roundabout/overpass on what relevant technical
and empirical considerations can this same Vinci be
now subordinated to Lutchmeesingh Contracting?
Vinci has demonstrated its technical/civil engineering
expertise in bridge and overpass building to a fine art
with the Aranguez overpass and the intricate but func-
tional Grand Bazaar overpass and crossing.
The small or large difference in the tender bids can-
not be the determining factor. Lutchmeesingh cannot
match Vinci for on-time delivery, technological expert-
ise, experience, readily available skilled, tried and tested
workforce, civil engineering infrastructure and high-
strength steel technology sourced in Belgium.
These are the critical factors required for the efficient
and durable establishment of the Curepe
roundabout/overpass. We do not want any time-delay-
ing sub-contracting on this project.
We the taxpayers can see and know what we are
going to get from the technically preferred Vinci and
when. We do not know how an unknown civil engineer-
ing outfit can respond to this technically challenging as-
signment to avoid the present traffic gridlock.
I congratulate Junior Works Minister MP Stacy Roop-
narine for raising the alarm bells in the overriding public
interest and getting the public involved in this tender
We have a bird in the hand. We do not know the
ones in the bush.
The impassable Mazanilla-Mayaro Road last week. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Belgians are bird in the
hand for Curepe overpass
Not happy with WI team
selection for SA tour
Put Christ back in Christmas
Time to curtail oil economy
Vinci has proven record
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