Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2015 Contents A12
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 13, 2015
National Building Code Committee chairman
Shyankaran Lalla is appealing to Housing Minis-
ter Marlene Mc Donald to make a national building
code one of her top priorities as she officially
begins her tenure.
Lalla, speaking with the Sunday Guardian, said
billions of dollars have been spent on repair works
due to the non adherence of building codes in this
This, he said, should be more than enough reason
for a National Building Code to be given priority by
the PNM administration, so they can ensure that
taxpayers get value for money, and "for the protection
of the health safety and welfare of the citizens of
Mc Donald, who was among 23 ministers sworn
in on Friday at Queen's Hall, St Ann's, Port-of-
Spain, said she has a lot of plans for the ministry
including reviews of all the programmes which were
under the People's Partnership government.
She also assured that the regularisation of squatters
will be made a priority, and that she will be granting
statutory leases to them to ensure security of land
While Lalla welcomed the move, he also suggested
that the minister focus on the structural safety
of those squatter homes and all buildings in
"We hope that the new Housing Minister, in
reviewing the programmes, gives building codes
priority, since the country cannot afford to spend
valuable resources repairing buildings due to the
non adherence of building codes," Lalla contend-
ed.He said the former Minister of Housing signed
an agreement with the International Code Council
for the use of licenced materials and adoption of
the International Building Codes following recom-
mendations made by the Cabinet-appointed National
Building Code Committee.
"The signing of a licence agreement for the adop-
tion of the ICC building codes is the most significant
engineering achievement to regulate the design con-
struction and administration of safe and resilient
structures for the protection of the health, safety
and welfare of our citizens," he said, as he urged
Mc Donald to continue the work of the commit-
tee.Lalla said he has been invited to address the ICC
International Global Forum in Los Angeles, California,
on September 27 on the Trinidad building code
experience and to receive the instruments for the
establishment of the first ICC Chapter in the
He said the licence agreement now paves the way
for the Government to legally adopt and put measures
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in place for the enforcement of building codes which
can reduce the risks associated with disasters.
He said it should also be noted that a budget of
$12m was approved by Cabinet in December 2013,
but no funding was provided to the committee to
deliver on its mandate.
Lalla also made a plea for funding for the com-
mittee. He said while the committee did not get
funding or their stipend from the previous gov-
ernment, they were able to complete 75 per cent
of the work thus far.
"Members of the committee were not paid their
stipend but this did not prevent them from working
on the development of a National Building Code
because they were cognisant of the disasters which
occurred globally and were mindful of the warnings
of UWI Seismic Research Centre that our country
was due for a major earthquake."
The centre also recorded over 130 seismic events
in Trinidad over the past four months, he said.
Mc Donald told...
Make national building code a priority
Read Watch Cash
jackpot now $3,500
Marlene Mc Donald
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