Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 8th 2013 Contents A8
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt September 8, 2013
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
A video on the planned million
dollar Ariapita Avenue upgrade
which was leaked by a contracted
animator with the Tourism Devel-
opment Company (TDC) had to be
pulled from the Internet.
TDC chairman Brian Frontin con-
firmed this on Friday.
"The particular animator had to
retract it from social media because
he made an error," Frontin said.
The 4.33-minute video called
"The next Ariapita Avenue" circu-
lated on social networking sites last
week. There was a mixture of
reviews. The video showed a pro-
posed re-design of the local enter-
Trees on the sidewalks of the pop-
ular liming strip, fancy arches, lights,
an underground parking facility at
Adam Smith Square, a new-look
square with pathways and gazebos
were among some of the features
When contacted to get specifics
on the plan, Frontin instead said,
"Do you know that is one of our
animation providers error?
"In fact, there is no project of that
nature being implemented."
He said it was not even TDC s
Frontin said it was a project pro-
posal which was discussed with
select stakeholders in Woodbrook
He said it was a plan that was
being considered at a project concept
level, but he emphasised there was
no project that was included in the
budget "or anything like that."
He said, "That is a private project
proposal that has absolutely nothing
to do in the public domain at this
"So a lot of people are getting car-
However, he said there was an
TDC acting CEO Yolande Selman
said the contractor had no right
divulging the content and had since
She said the plan was merely at
the developmental stage and not on
TDC s cards at the moment in terms
of going forward.
"The plan is at this time part of
the whole tourism product of the
city of Port-of-Spain.
"What is very important is that
it is developmental."
She said the animation was part
of TDC s presentation tool designed
to show a project.
A mental institution
sorely needed instead
Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee
Sing says he does not welcome such
a proposed plan. He said he believed
Cabinet had approved more than
$100 million for a plan to uplift the
He said he held talks with former
tourism minister Rupert Griffith and
a full presentation was shown.
Lee Sing said he was not aware if
Woodbrook residents who were the
dominant group were consulted on
the plan and if they were prepared
to change their neighbourhood
according to the plan.
"I think the country has got to
prioritise," he said.
He said, "If the Government wish-
es to establish that kind of a centre
then they should go down to the
MovieTowne area where they have
land and develop it further, where
that kind of entertainment will not
disrupt and impact on the lives of
Lee Sing said the issues concern-
ing the well-being of the city had
much to do with available funds. He
said a mental institution was sorely
He said the only people who
would benefit from the re-design
were those who owned "watering
holes" on the avenue.
"The only reason why Ariapita
Avenue has become the hub of
watering holes has to do with the
fact that the Government has failed
to re-engineer the central business
district," he said.
Earlier this year at a monthly
statutory meeting, Lee Sing proposed
that a mental hospital should be built
instead of uplifting the avenue.
He had said, "I don t know why
we will want to spend $100 million
to put up some arches, to dig out
the whole of Adam Smith Square
and put a car park below it and fancy
it up and change the lights across
the place...I don t think the country
...TDC orders animator to pull video off the Internet
Chief secretary in the Tobago
House of Assembly Orville London
believes that issues of concern for
Tobagonians are being sidelined
by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
London was speaking at the Post
Executive Council news conference
on Thursday. London said during
his meetings with the Prime Min-
ister recently, matters including
internal self government for Tobago
and the Tobago House of Assem-
bly s representation on state boards
were discussed, but are yet to be
He noted that he met with Per-
sad--Bissessar on June 14, where
the issues were raised and followed
up with a letter on July 29, referring
to the issues and asking for special
attention to be paid to the island s
need for internal self-governance
and representation on state boards.
London said he received a letter
of acknowledgement on August 26,
which stated that consideration is
being given to the requests. The
chief secretary described the
sequence of events as frustrating.
"The priorities of the THA and
the people of Tobago are not the
priorities of the Prime Minister and
the Central Government, and I find
it quite distressing and maybe even
a little insulting. I really want to
urge the Prime Minister and her
Cabinet to give these very critical
issues the attention and the urgency
that they deserve. I don t think we
as Tobagonians should accept any
London compared the issues fac-
ing Tobagonians with the Prime
Minister s decision to take a bill to
Parliament to amend the Municipal
Corporation Act 1990, in a bid to
introduce a system of proportional
representation for the election of
aldermen. He said the Prime Min- ister acted without consultation or
prompting from any stakeholder.
Tobago sidelined by Govt---London
THA chief secretary Orville London
No $$ in budget for
'The next Ariapita Avenue'
Ariapita Avenue. PHOTO: BRIAN NG FATT
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