Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2015 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, January 19, 2015
Opposition Senator Faris Al-Rawi says Cabinet
has given its approval for the Programme for
Upgrading Roads Efficiency (Pure) "to carry out
the building of a highway from San Fernando to
Al-Rawi said that during his contribution to Tues-
day s marathon debate in the Senate on the Finance
(Supplementation and Variation -- Financial Year)
Bill 2014. It was approved on Wednesday morning.
Works and Infrastructure Minister Dr Surujrattan
Rambachan confirmed yesterday that Pure had been
given the responsibility to manage the project. He
said the first phase will be from San Fernando to
Princes Town. Rambachan said the project will be
tendered and there will be the required transparency
in the process.
The estimated cost of the project is more than ten
billion dollars, Al-Rawi said.
But according to Al-Rawi, "There was no engi-
neering for the project."
He said Pure was "not designed to do that kind
Al-Rawi also raised questions about whether the
funds for the project will be sourced internationally.
He said he wanted to know if the highway project
will be executed under the new procurement law.
Earlier, Al-Rawi said the Government is expected
to spend almost $30 million in promotions, publicity
and printing this year.
He said the Government spent more than $7 billion
on cable television advertising for the month of May
Al-Rawi also told legislators the Ministry of Com-
munications paid $80 million in contracts in May
2014 to Flow and Digital Signage.
Bharath denied that claim, saying he was "not
quite sure where the information is coming from
that you are quoting, but I want to assure this House
that the Ministry of Communications has absolutely
no such contract with Flow for a value of $80 mil-
Al-Rawi said the Opposition will produce copies
of the contracts.
He said that it should be noted that Bharath did
not deny the earlier claim of almost $30 million in
promotions, publicity and printing.
Erin residents have been
warned that their roads will
remain unpaved if they con-
tinue to engage in protests, as
contractors are not willing to
risk their equipment in violent
The warning came from
Works Minister Dr Suruj Ram-
bachan, as he walked through
dozens of villages from Quarry
Road, Siparia, to Buenos Ayres,
Erin, yesterday, a week after
residents staged fiery protests
over poor roads and drains.
"You will be your own worse
enemy if you protest because
contractors have said they will
not risk their equipment," Ram-
bachan told the villagers.
Accompanying the minister
on the walk were community
leaders Theophilus Henry from
the Los Bajos Community
Council, Adrianna Edwards
from the Palmiste and Industry
Lane Village group, chairman
for the group People for
Progress, Victor Roberts and
president of Palo Seco Village
Council, Ronald Prince. They
latter gave the assurance that
all protests will cease.
Identifying more than 45
leaks on the SS Erin Road,
Rambachan also slammed
Water and Sewerage Authority
(WASA) officials for allowing
deficient contractors to do
shoddy road works.
"WASA continues to employ
contractors who are doing poor
work. A WASA official admitted
that a contractor who was
removed from the list has come
back in. We cannot allow defi-
cient contractors to come back
into the system like that. I tried
on several occasions to call
chairman of WASA, Indar
Maharaj and I have not been
getting responses," Rambachan
He said that only contractors
who are approved by the Works
Minister should be allowed to
do road repairs.
The Minister also criticised
La Brea MP Fitzgerald Jeffrey
for poor representation and told
residents that they should con-
sider changing their voting pat-
"The MP was well aware that
this work was scheduled for the
month of March, the second
quarter of this fiscal year," Ram-
bachan said, adding he was
appalled at the poor drainage,
dilapidated community centres,
overgrown recreation grounds
and bumpy roads which he saw
during the tour.
Rambachan told the residents
that WASA will begin fixing the
leaks from Tuesday, potholes
will be fixed from Wednesday
and full rehabilitation will be
done in March, once all drainage
works were complete.
Roberts said the villagers
were pleased with the promis-
"We have realised that most
of the things we have heard
shows we were genuinely mis-
breakdown in communication
between the MP and the min-
ister," Roberts said.
Prince said residents were
moved to protest because of
the number of accidents. He
also said that protests will end
once their concerns were
Works Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan paints a W near a hole along
the SS Erin Road which he blames WASA for, during a tour of the
area yesterday. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
fearful of protests
Suruj warns Erin residents:
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