Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 6th 2017 Contents news A3
Friday, October 6, 2017
Tobago Chamber of Commerce presi-
dent Demi John Cruikshank is pleased
Tobago received additional powers
through some of the initiatives an-
nounced by Minister of Finance Colm
Imbert in the 2018 Budget on Monday.
Speaking at a news conference mere
minutes after the Budget, Cruikshank
said he was also comforted with Toba-
The Tobago House of Assembly (THA)
received $2.1936 billion, representing
$1.86 billion for recurrent expenditure,
$315.6 million for capital expenditure
and $18 million for URP. The island will
also receive $1.09 billion via ministries
for projects, including the construction
of the Old Grange and Roxborough Po-
lice Stations, a desalination plant and
the expansion of the power generating
capacity at Cove.
Cruickshank was happy Tobago will
get a larger slice of the national pie this
time around. "Tobago House of Assem-
bly would have received a 4.34 per cent
of the national Budget, to us, which is
an upward igure in terms of what we
would have normally received, which is
4.03 of the national budget," he said.
"We are also pleased that the THA
would have gotten some sort of ability
to borrow coming into the new iscal
year and that is something that a num-
ber of Assemblies in the past would
have clamoured for and it will be in-
teresting to see how we now deal with
that scenario in terms of borrowing ex-
ternally, or domestically."
He said his organisation was also
comforted that the Loan Guaran-
tee Programme was put on the front
burner, adding the repayment period
was extended, which will work in the
favour of the business community.
"That is something that the cham-
ber, the division in Tobago, would have
clamoured for a long time, that we
wanted some sort of clarity in terms of
the Loan Guarantee Programme and
we are pleased and comforted in the
Budget that we would have gotten the
ability to put the loan to 15 years from
seven years, which we fought for, for a
long time," he said.
He also extended an olive branch to
Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles to meet
with the Chamber to propel the island's
Roxborough and environs res-
idents are now questioning
whether the $9 million 'Hanging
Down' project in their community
is really complete, as the roadway
once again seems to be in danger
of being undermined.
Secretary of Infrastructure and
the Environment Kwesi Des Vignes
deemed the project, which com-
prised construction of gabion bas-
kets and 150 metres of rock armour
revetment, complete and under
budget by $1.5 million last month.
However, topsoil and debris con-
tinues to cascade down the side of
the site and villagers fear if it is left
untouched the roadway may soon
Located on the windward end
of Tobago near the coastline, the
roadway is the main thoroughfare
that connects the villages of Rox-
borough, Betsy's Hope, Delaford,
Speyside and Charlotteville to Scar-
"The Secretary boasted that the
wall was completed under budget
but is it really inished?" villager La-
toya Anderson asked Tobago Today.
"If you look at it from the top
of the road you can see where
even the newly-installed fence has
begun to buckle and is slowly slid-
ing towards the sea."
Noting they were concerned for
their safety and the wall's present
condition may be overlooked, An-
derson said: "The problem is that
now they say it's inished then the
chances of them coming back are
slim to none and we the residents
have to live with it."
Anderson pointed to a now lean-
ing sign which warns residents to
stay away from the fence because
they can fall over the precipice as
an indication the wall did not serve
the purpose for which it was built.
In announcing the completion of
the wall last month, the division's
press release noted that the pro-
ject was undertaken "to prevent
the existing roadway from wave
attacks and undercutting of the
base which led to slope failure." It
also said the project was "a testa-
ment to what is possible when ex-
pectations and responsibilities are
clearly de ined and parties aligned
However, another resident who
spoke on the condition of anonym-
ity said he was surprised when he
heard the wall was complete.
"Even a blind man can see they
need to do more work on it. We are
glad that they have saved money
but how they save and it not com-
plete," he said.
He questioned who allocated the
cost for the wall "in the irst place
and who said it would cost that. It's
"I bet you that from now on the
Assembly will call high igures for
stuff and pay less to say their pro-
jects are under budget."
Contacted on the villagers' con-
cern, the division's communica-
tions specialist Kemba Atkins said
the engineers who worked on the
project would visit the area.
"They say what the residents are
seeing are topsoil and rock and
they noted that any cutting of the
rock would have further under-
mined the roadway," she said.
set to work
The soil erosion at the site
is severe residents say.
Soil erosion alongside the hanging bridge has residents
Roxborough Hanging Bridge brings little road relief
$9m in work
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