Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 27th 2015 Contents RADHICA SOOKRAJ
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
plans to open several mega-projects
before she announces the election date,
which political gurus say will be held in
A senior government source said once
Parliament is dissolved by June 17, the
Prime Minister will announce the election
date, but in the meantime, she has given
a mandate for all ongoing projects to be
"Contractors are working around the
clock in some projects. We expect to open
many of these projects before elections
and we also want to finalise contracts for
other projects which will be done in 2016,"
the source said.
Among the projects to be opened in the
next few months are the US$150 million
Couva Children s Hospital, several seg-
ments of the $7.4 billion Solomon Hochoy
Highway Extension, and the $500 million
University of the West Indies law campus
The hospital, which is Persad-Bissessar s
brainchild, will provide specialised services
in paediatric cardiology, as well as diag-
nostic, imaging and critical care. Already,
it has been outfitted with a plastic and
burns unit, mother and child birthing unit,
pharmacy, laboratory, an adult out-patient
unit and a surgery unit.
The hospital sign has been erected and
water pipelines are being run from Point
Construction of the law campus is also
taking place around the clock with the
first intake of students scheduled for Sep-
Four other major projects which Per-
sad-Bissessar hopes to open before elec-
tions are the National Oncology Centre
at Mt Hope; the world class $1 billion
National Aquatic Centre at Balmain,
Couva; the $1.5 billion National Gas Com-
pany Fuel Depot Facility; and the Motor
Vehicle Authority headquarters in Caroni.
Most of these projects, built under the
Urban Development Corporation of T&T
and the Sports Company of T&T, are set
to be opened before citizens head to the
The projects were designed to boost
industrial development in Couva, Chagua-
nas and Caroni, the source said.
The Aquatic Centre is situated next to
the Cycling Velodrome and the Ato Boldon
Stadium and is also in close proximity to
the National Cricket Centre in Couva.
A senior government source said apart
from those projects, the Prime Minister
also hoped to begin several new initiatives.
These include the construction of the San
Fernando to Mayaro highway, which was
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 27, 2015
In an interview yesterday,
People's National Movement
(PNM) chairman Franklin Khan
said it was foolish to attempt
to complete so many projects
before the general election.
Asked how this might impact
on voting behaviour, Khan said,
"I don't think they will fool
people. I cannot see how all
these projects could be
completed before elections."
Accusing Persad-Bissessar of "mixing too
much politics in the national agenda," Khan said,
"These projects are budgeted and they carry a
specific timeframe. They run from October 1 to
September 30. To send out a specific request to
complete projects which are already budgeted is
foolish. The country will look for good
governance in the next five years and they will
not be fooled."
He also questioned whether the structural
integrity of the projects would be compromised.
"Obviously if a project is engineered to last a
specific number of months and haven't started,
to set a timeframe may compromise the
engineering integrity of the project. Every project
has to go a through proper life cycle so I don't
understand the logic in rushing to get them
opened," Khan said.
Rush to complete
Contractors working around the clock
Foolish attempt, says PNM chairman
promised by the PNM; the US$850 million (TT$5.4
billion) dimethyl ether plant in La Brea to be built
by Mitsubishi Group; and the establishment of dry
docking facilities and the Chaguaramas Causeway
which will be built in 2016 under a private/public
In East Trinidad, Government also hopes to open
the Mayaro fire station which has been under con-
struction since December 13, 2011. The 100-bed
Point Fortin Hospital, the 150-bed Arima Hospital
and the 150-bed Penal Hospital and Rehabilitation
Centre are also projects yet to be completed.
One of the projects earmarked for completion before general elections---the Children's Hospital in Couva yesterday.
The National Aquatic Centre in Balmain Couva near completion.
Continues on Page A14
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