Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 27th 2017 Contents the PNM had demonstrated enormous
incompetence and all their construction
projects were engulfed in corruption.
"At the end of the day they will build
nothing and mess up everything. It will
be left to the incoming UNC government
to rectify the construction and financial
mess that they will leave," Moonilal said.
"They cannot even complete the mega
projects we started because they have al-
ienated the contractors."
Describing the PNM as anti-business,
he said it was clear they could not under-
stand basic principles of public invest-
ment and targeted growth in relation to
income redistribution and employment
"The fundamental problem is corrup-
tion and incompetence."
As shadow housing minister, Moonilal
compared the achievements of the min-
istry during his tenure to that of Mitchell.
He said in 2010 at the start of the PP's
term of office, there were thousands of
empty housing units all across Trinidad's
landscape and this had sparked national
"The People's Partnership dedicated
time and financial resources to com-
pleting these stalled housing sites, hav-
ing to execute intense remedial works
to incomplete units as well as installing
basic and required infrastructure (drain-
age, electrical and plumbing infrastruc-
ture, waste-water treatment plants,
street-lights) which were not installed,
and which rendered the housing sites
incomplete and the housing units un-
He said the PNM strategy was to build
in phases and to allocate small percent-
ages (especially close to elections) of
completed housing units within an in-
"For instance, in Corinth Hills, San
Fernando, of a total of 736 units, approx-
imately 50 housing units were complet-
ed and allocated. The tragedy here was
that the site was incomplete and without
waste-water facilities. Human waste had
to be pumped out of the development dai-
ly; the same had to be done in Retrench,
San Fernando, Las Alturas, Morvant and
Mendez Drive, Champs Fleurs."
He said contrary to the numbers pro-
vided by the HDC to the Sunday Guard-
ian, for the period 2010 to 2015, records
confirmed that 8, 521 housing units were
delivered across 35 project sites.
"This figure includes the completion of
stalled projects inherited from the PNM
He also criticisedthe PNM's announce-
ment of the preferred procurement meth-
od of Public Private Partnership relative
to the construction of houses.
"They had a grand media event an-
nouncing the start of a PPP project be-
tween the HDC and NH Construction.
To date this project has not commenced
because the information in the public
domain is that there were considerable
shortcomings within the HDC Request
for Proposals, and the price quoted by the
contractor is currently being renegotiat-
ed. The PNM government has not com-
pleted one single house after two years in
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Subsidised housing is, however, only one of the min-
istry's core areas of responsibility.
The ministry is also responsible for land settlement,
urban development, regularisation of tenure for squat-
ters, home improvement grants and subsidies and mon-
itoring and evaluation of housing trends and markets
in the country.
In terms of squatter regularisation, Mitchell said 3000
families would receive deeds by September 30 and im-
provement works on nine of the 29 squatter regularisation
sites were ongoing.
As budget 2017/2018 nears, the majority of promises
made for Housing in budget 2016/2017 are ongoing.
Contractors await new projects
T&T Contractor's Association president Ramlogan
Roopnarinesingh said the construction industry has
slowed down and payment to contractors needed to be
made a priority. He said, however, that the association
supported the new strategy of having multiple contrac-
tors on one housing site.
Expressing hope that several Government projects
set to come on-stream shortly will act as a catalyst to
stimulate the local construction sector and once again
increase employment and generate revenue, Roopna-
rinesingh applauded Government's move to ensure as
many local contractors as possible benefited from the
He said this was being facilitated through the offering
of "smaller" contracts, which meant more contractors
were able to secure work, thus generating spin-off em-
ployment for countless people, including architects,
engineers, masons, carpenters, electricians, plumbers
and other vendors.
"We at the association are of the view that giving
multiple contracts at the same site is a good strategy. It
means at one site you get more people employed. In-
stead of giving one contractor hundreds of houses, you
can give 10 contractors and you have more jobs. We are
seeing that it is working out well," he said.
Roopnarinesingh strongly believes the revitalisation
of the construction sector could cement it as one of the
main contributors to the country's Gross Domestic Prod-
Regarding the debt owed to contractors, he said they
were told Government had no money to pay them.
"We are hoping that an arrangement would be put
in place. We saw that the minister had started up out-
standing projects they had going. We think it is a very
good idea as something needs to be done to stimulate
the sector," Roopnarinesingh said.
"We are hoping that the HDC and other agencies would
put the relevant instruments in place to pay outstanding
He said if the contractors had money in their hands
then they could start private developments.
Moonilal: PNM will build nothing
Former housing minister Dr Roodal Moonilal says
Moonilal: UNC will return to fix mess
An aerial view of an HDC settlement in East Trinidad.
Continues from Page A6
While the Red House, President's
House, Mille Fleurs and Whitehall are
still under way, UDeCOTT provided a
list of completed projects delivered in
In financial year 2017, UDeCOTT com-
pleted and handed over the following:
Maximum Security Prison Fence Proj-
St. Joseph Police Station
Besson Street, Police Station
Maracas, St Joseph Police Station
Inland Revenue Division, Government
Plaza, Richmond Street, Port of Spain
Refurbishment of Hyatt Regency
Refurbishment of Dormitories at St.
Michael's Home for Boys
Mt Hope/Mt Lambert Community
Ackbar Trace Community Centre
Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba
An HDC construction site at Woodstar Avenue, Bon Air Gardens. PHOTO: AYANA KINSALE
UDECOTT PROJECTS COMPLETED
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