Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 12th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Monday, August 12, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 08th AUGUST, 2013
No decision has been made about local gov-
ernment elections and discussions on a possible
postponement are ongoing, Housing Minister
Dr Roodal Moonilal said yesterday.
"There is no determination on that yet," he said
in response to questions from reporters during a
walkabout along Roberts Road, Phillipine Village,
San Fernando, adding that the elections are the
"purview" of the Prime Minister.
The term of local government bodies ended
last month and local government elections are
due before the end of October.
The issue of a possible postponement was raised
last Wednesday. Following a national executive
meeting at the United National Congress s head-
quarters at Rienzi Complex, Couva, Prime Minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the party s local gov-
ernment councillors asked her to postpone the
elections. She said the matter would be discussed.
Moonilal, leader of government business in the
House of Representatives, said, "Local government
elections (are) not postponed and there is no
determination in that as yet. There are discussions
that are ongoing on this issue in the context of
local government transformation and in the context
of the referendum, that one is contemplating on
the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) matter in
He assured that no decision has been arrived
at on local government elections.
The Oropouche East MP, along with officials
from his constituency office, the Housing Devel-
opment Corporation (HDC), T&TEC and sup-
porters, walked through Phillipine Village listening
to concerns raised by residents.
The major issues raised were poor drainage and
bad roads and Moonilal promised they would be
He said the walkabout had been planned some
"This is a programme we devised at midterm,
that we would visit the constituency on a walk-
about and assess the work we have done so far
and what new work needs to be done over the
next two years.
"It is really a midterm walkabout programme
that we have embarked upon for assessment and
intervention in the constituency."
Moonilal said he wanted to get a first-hand
look at what is happening in his constituency.
"This is nothing new. There is nothing that is
motivating this except at midterm for parliamen-
tary elections," he said.
A3 No decision yet
on local elections
Moonilal: We have
taken all precautions
Former Miss T&T World representative Athaliah Samuel, right, and fellow
model showcase costumes from Yuma's 2013 Carnival presentation, Cirque
Carnival, during the band's launch at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-
Spain, on Saturday night. PHOTO: LESLIE ANN ROBERTSON-TONEY
Moonilal said the issue came to
Udecott s attention a few weeks ago
and a statement was issued that all
the appropriate geotechnical studies
were done to ensure that "the hospital
is well placed and the technical work
has been done to avoid any risk from
an earthquake or any other natural
He said a school and other gov-
ernment installations are located near the site.
"We are convinced that the technical work has
been done by the construction company and by
Udecott. We do not see a problem there," he
The minister said if an earthquake was to take
place all buildings would be threatened, whether
in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando, or "wherever
depending on the magnitude of any earthquake."
"That fault line has been there some years now,
not just today and what do we do when you find
places like that? You cannot move industrial estab-
lishments because of that.
You factor that into your
engineering and planning
and design so you can
withstand the impact and
the threat of any natural
disaster," he contended.
Moonilal said countries
like China and Japan have
zones that are earthquake
"But that does not mean
that you cannot construct
a hospital there, because if
you do that there are some states in the world that
will never have a hospital, or a school, or a uni-
versity because they are earthquake prone. So yes,
recognising there is a fault line there is one thing,
but you have to factor that into your construction
and your technical work, particularly your geot-
echnical/scientific work," he said.
Chairman of the National Building Code Com-
mittee, Shyankaran Lalla, said his committee was
"happy to read that the Couva hospital is designed
to meet international standards and building codes."
However, he added, "This does not negate the
concern by seismologists and members of the geo-
sciences engineering fraternity that the hospital
is located within ten kilometres of the Central
Range/Warm Springs (CR/WS) fault system which
poses a very high seismic risk to buildings and
infrastructure located in its vicinity."
Structural engineers are now calling for details
on the geotechnical survey, which include the name
of the firm, the findings and recommendations of
Another question being raised by the engineers
is if the Probabilistic Report on the Point Fortin
Highway was taken into consideration when the
geological firm made the recommendations and
whether the UWI Seismic Research Centre was
consulted by the geotechnical firm.
Continued from Page A1
Dr Roodal Moonilal
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