Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 6th 2014 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, December 6, 2014
TO ALL HORSE
Please be advised that
Fair Chance Racing
Service San Fernando
will be open for
wagering on English
and American Races
until Saturday 20th
For the first time, students in the aviation
industry will be able to access funding from
the Government Assisted Tertiary Education
This was announced by Minister of Tertiary
Education and Skills Training Fazal Karim
yesterday as he said the cost of studying avi-
ation in T&T would be considerable cheaper
than going abroad.
The cost to Gate for a student to do, for
example, the one-year Certificate in Aviation
Technology is $21,600 as compared to the
Centennial College in Canada, which costs
TT$96,250 and the Aviation Institute of Orlan-
do, Florida, which charges $118,400.
"The local programme is cost effective and
offers quality instruction and hands-on expe-
rience," Karim said.
He was addressing 25 students, five of whom
are women, who are doing the Certificate in
Aviation Technology course at the University
of T&T s (UTT) Point Lisas campus.
The minister also commended the "female
presence" in the aviation programme.
"Traditionally women were not allowed in
this field," he noted.
The minister said on the job training (OJT)
and junior aviation programmes and a Gate-
funded bachelors degree course in aviation
technology would be launched simultaneously
at the formal opening of the Camden hangar,
Couva, in the first quarter of next year.
Students of OJT aviation will be afforded
the opportunity to be employed within their
field of study.
In aviation junior, during the Easter vacation,
young children will be introduced to the world
of aviation. Current students will serve as
mentors and guides.
Karim said the bachelors in aviation tech-
nology was a part of his vision to see the UTT
as the only tertiary learning institution that
had an aviation programme of that type. He
said the institution now covered "land, sea
National Helicopter Services Ltd has agreed
to donate a helicopter to be used for practical
Highway Re-route Movement leader Dr
Wayne Kublalsingh says the National Infra-
structure Development Company s (Nidco)
response to the Joint Consultative Council
(JCC) is "exceedingly unsatisfactory" and
is merely an attempt to hoodwink the pop-
Kublalsingh, who has been on a hunger
strike for the last 83 days, described the
response, which was published in centrefold
advertisements this week, as "a flagrant
violation and corruption of the Armstrong
Nidco, through the two-part series of
advertisements, responded to concerns
raised by JCC president Afra Raymond about
the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway extension
to Point Fortin and its Debe to Mon Desir
leg.On Wednesday Nidco published the sec-
ond part of its response and itemised the
actions it took as it complied with the rec-
ommendations of the Dr James Armstrong-
led Highway review committee report.
Kublalsingh, in response to questions
posed by the T&T Guardian following that
publication, said the ads were "a calculated
effort to hoodwink and misinform the pub-
He said: "It is a compilation of excuses
meant to justify its failure to frontally treat
with the Armstrong process and deal with
the scientific recommendations of a pro-
Nidco, in the advertisements, continued
its defence of its decision to maintain its
Debe to Mon Desir route for the project. It
said it considered and acted upon the Arm-
strong report recommendations.
The state enterprise, in the ad, said: "The
alignment of the highway is valid. It is nec-
essary to continue the new highway through
Penal, Siparia, Fyzabad onto Point Fortin
with the alignment as suggested."
Nidco said the present route was the
"optimum route" as concluded by Dr
Bheshem Ramlal, GIS specialist and lecturer
at UWI department of engineering.
He drew that conclusion, the ad stated,
based on the best available spatial data sets
obtained from government agencies and
GIS consultants and criteria provided by
professionals with significant expertise in
physical planning, transportation planning,
Kublalsingh said the HRM had prepared
a detailed response to the ads, including a
statement by an independent traffic man-
agement professional based in the United
States which will be provided next week.
He said he viewed the advertising cam-
paign as "an attempt to sidestep the medi-
ation process" which had been called for
by President Anthony Carmona, Justice
Vasheist Kokaram, Derek Murray of Trinidad
and Tobago Transparency Institute and
Archbishop Joseph Harris, among others.
Kublalsingh, who has been advocating
for the recommendations of the Armstrong
Report to be adhered to as a condition to
end his hunger strike, said he would not
cease his action.
He maintained: "The hunger strike shall
be suspended if the Prime Minister and her
Government agree to mediation, and to halt
works between Debe to Mon Desir for seven
days to allow the mediation process to work
towards a way forward."
Kublalsingh said that the HRM had pro-
posed that in the event mediation was agreed
to, three mediators would be necessary.
One mediator would be chosen by Gov-
ernment, one by the HRM and the third
would be someone mutually acceptable to
both sides, he said.
"Persons who have interceded, including
Minister Vasant Bharath, have agreed to
take this proposal to the Honourable Prime
Minister," he added.
Nidco said it expected that the new four-
lane divided highway from Point Fortin
(Dunlop) roundabout to Mon Desir Inter-
change, with connector roads and support
interchanges, will be completed by 2015.
Kublalsingh on Nidco ads:
Move to hoodwink public
Nidco, in its advertisement on
Wednesday, said the highway
route chosen, "presents the
least impact on the wetlands, as
well as on the built
communities established in
these areas over the years."
It also said that no
mangroves were to be removed
in the Debe to Mon Desir area.
"Where this has been
necessary in other sections, a
rehabilitation plan has been
implemented by the contractor
and overseen by the EMA,"
Nidco stated in the ad.
The state enterprise said all
regulatory approvals for the
Debe to Mon Desir alignment
have been obtained and all
conditions as required by the
Town and Country Planning
Division have been fulfilled,
inclusive of approvals from the
It said Royal Haskoning BV of
the Netherlands, in association
with Haskoning Caribbean Ltd,
have been hired to conduct
feasibility studies and detailed
design consultancy services for
the South Oropouche River
Basin Flood Mitigation and
The study objectives were to
develop alternative solutions (ie
adaptation of drainage
infrastructure, water resources
uses and overall watershed
management) and best
management practices to
reduce the frequency and
severity of flooding in the basin.
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