Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 24th 2017 Contents viewpoint A21
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 guardian.co.tt
bridge offers hope
of a better future
I must say that it is nice to see that
the Cascade bridge has been recently
re-painted in the standard black and
white colours. Although not an expert,
I expect that the contrasting black
and white decor will make the bridge
more discernible at night.
As a Cascade resident, I felt it re-
pulsive that the bridge was previously
painted as if it was a carnival costume
and more so that the choice of the
colours did portray some political re-
Thank you, Mr Minister of Works,
for doing what is right. It is most re-
freshing and encouraging. There will
always be hope for our country once
our politicians do the right things. It is
the wrong managements of the past
that has the country where it is today,
not the oil and gas price which have
become the lame excuse or the bran-
dished fall guy who is now a national
What is the plan for NIB?
For the longest while I have been
hearing about the state of NIB's
coffers, with particular reference to
the level of contributions being made
by our working population. What is
being disclosed at this present time
is certainly no news. Since the nec-
essary auditing has been done and
it is reflecting a grim picture of the
NIB's ability to service payments in
the future, my question is, what is the
plan for NIB and when will it be imple-
mented to avoid this scenario?
If you see a serious problem in the
future, instead of just talking about
it should not steps be taken to avoid
it or prevent it from happening? Is
it that you are waiting until 2030 to
say that NIB funds are all depleted?
I would hate to think that after citi-
zens, some of them working for dec-
ades and contributing to this scheme,
are told at retirement that things are
really bad and NIB cannot fulfil its
The responsibility lies on the
shoulder of those who are in charge
to do something about this. I am not
here to make any suggestions, let
the experts in the field give all the
necessary advice. I am simply trying
to protect citizens' interests, of which
I also form part. I look forward to hear
the plan that you have put together
with intention to implement in order
to avoid depletion of funds.
When will it end,
what shall be next?
China's Jiaozhou Bay Bridge is
about the same length of the highway
to Point Fortin. It was built in four
years and the project, constructed
over the sea, was completed at a cost
of approximately 12 billion TT dollars.
The highway to Point Fortin, built
on land at specifications nowhere
close to that of the bay bridge, is still
incomplete after four years. When
completed it may well cost more than
the Jiaozhou bridge.
The over one-billion-dollar waste
water project at the Beetham is still
incomplete, the over one-billion-dol-
lars Couva Children Hospital, accord-
ing to financial experts, needs addi-
tional expenditure before it can be
used, and the Brian Lara Cricket Acad-
emy cost was over one billion dollars.
The ridiculous costs of projects in T&T
must end. Why do we continue to
accept these extremely unrealistically
high prices for projects?
Recently the media reported that
55 million dollars is needed to install
toilets in the prison. As a general
contractor with over 30 years of
experience in the industry locally
and internationally, I find that figure
insane. A prison grade toilet is on av-
erage $3,500 for one. The best quality
available costs $14,000 for one. The
installation of a toilet inclusive of
plumbing, excavation and restoring of
floor area is about $12,000 per toilet.
The total cost of toilet and installa-
tion therefore should be no more than
$26,000 dollars per unit. If one were
to round off that figure to $30,000
per unit, the State would be able to
supply and install 1,000,830 toilet
sets for that sum.
If one were to assume a ridiculous
figure as $100,000 to supply and
install a toilet set, at a total of $55
million for the project, the State will
have to install 550 toilets. Are those
requesting a fifty-five-million-dollar
budget suggesting that a $14,000 toi-
let costs over $80,000 to install?
One ought to question the heavily
laden figures for government projects
and insist that we get value for our
money. It's time to end the wastage.
God Bless Our Nation.
Steve Alvarez Delay in justice
is an injustice
Sean Luke was killed in March
2006 and the trial of his murderers
is yet to start. It was adjourned to
June 13, 2017. This is over ten years
they are in Remand Yard.
In Jamaica, Trevor Berbick, a heav-
yweight boxing champion, was killed
on October 28, 2006. His murderers
were convicted in December 2007.
In Jamaica, Ms Michelle Coudray-
Greaves, daughter of Ms Marlene
Coudray was murdered on June 10,
2012. The Minister of Gender, Youth
and Child Development at that time
voiced her frustration at the slow
pace of the investigation and justice
following the death of her daughter.
The murderer was convicted on May
In Trinidad and Tobago, it is taking
over ten years for a trial date to be
set with the accused remaining in
Remand Yard for a similar period of
The Attorney General states that
there are 2,280 prisoners on remand.
Of these, "12 per cent have been
there for more than 10 years, 43.88
per cent for more than five years and
54.09 per cent less than five years."
It cost approximately $25,000 per
month for each prisoner.
The Chief Justice and Director of
Public Prosecutions also revealed
that there are over 800 people in
Remand Yard awaiting trial, some as
long as ten years.
It was also revealed that the
shortage of prosecution lawyers will
not be addressed until there is avail-
able office space!
Williamsville residents are calling on the relevant regional corporation to stop a homeless man from continually
throwing garbage in the Guaracara River creating a horrendous mess. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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