Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 11th 2013 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 11, 2013
The Certi cate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) 1372/2006 contains an extensive list of conditions intended to address the lack of detail
presented to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) at the time of the application. A signi cant amount of work still needs to be
undertaken to obtain approvals before any additional site activities are carried out. It is recommended that no further work be
undertaken on the Highway site until all of the conditions contained in the CEC have been ful lled, including the need for all plans
speci ed in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be submitted to the EMA, and for approvals to be obtained from the relevant
agencies. This includes the Storm Water Management Plan and the Water Management Plan, consideration of which involves stakeholder
consultation and feedback via the Working Group which is required to be formed as part of the CEC conditions.
In accordance with the Town & Country Planning (TCP) Act no further construction work should be carried out on the site until all of
the conditions attached to Notice of Grant of PP referenced T7M: 0440/2007 and Notice of Grant of PP referenced T8N: 0443/2007 have
been ful lled.
It is imperative that a proper Social Impact Assessment (SIA) be undertaken before a decision is made whether or not to continue
with the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the Highway given the potential for severe adverse impacts on the resident population and
other stakeholders within the immediate and wider area of impact, including the potential severing of extended family ties. In this regard
non-relocated residents, and the agricultural stakeholders who would be a ected by the loss of their lands, as well as the non-relocated
business people who would be a ected by the Highway, also need to be drawn into the study. The SIA studies should include attention
to the alternate routes proposed by the Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM) and by Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT)/NIDCO.
In view of the issues relating to the dislocation of persons from their homes it is critical that a Re-settlement Plan showing compliance
with condition (iii) (e) of the CEC, that is, "The Applicant should pursue.....resident relocation and resettlement utilising best industry
practices....." should be prepared and submitted to the EMA before any decision is nalised regarding the resettlement of a ected
No further engineering operations are to be undertaken on the land at Petit Morne, St. Madeline on which it is proposed to relocate
persons residing in the path of the alignment until all necessary approvals are obtained from the relevant agencies.
Quantitative assessment is critical to this project in the areas of hydrology and drainage. Hence, a quantitative surface and
groundwater hydrology model and study of the wetland as a hydrodynamic system should be undertaken in the public interest
as part of Best Practice before an informed decision can made as to whether or not this segment of the Highway should proceed
An Environmental Economic Study of this Project must also be undertaken to inform a decision whether or not to proceed with
this Highway segment. This should include a cost-bene t analysis, comparing the economic costs of the various alignment alternatives
that were assessed to demonstrate the costs of the adverse e ects compared with the projected bene ts.
O -site impacts, such as the impact of removing and transporting extraordinarily large quantities of aggregate to be sourced from
areas far removed from the Project Area, for example, quarries in the Northern Range, also need to be determined and measures
designed to mitigate any negative impacts.
The HRC recommends that the APDSL studies be continued. The HRM spokesperson on tra c should be drawn into this study as part of
the community involvement in this major transportation investment programme. It is further recommended that consideration be
given to staging highway improvement for the south western peninsula to allow the phased development of the transportation
system and minimize the potential for 'overbuilding' the road network at the expense of competing land uses and to the
detriment of the communities within the direct or indirect range of the alignments.
The HRC recommends that all relevant state agencies together review their policy for the assessment of damage at Section 3 of
the Land Acquisition (LA) Act. This must include the Commissioner of State Lands (COSL), MOWI, the Valuation Division (VD), and the
Ministry of Food Production. It also recommends that the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad and Tobago (ISTT) be consulted and that
consideration be given to including the Agricultural Society and the Law Association. It is further recommended that the Commissioner
of Valuation (CoV) ensures proper compliance with the law and Land Economy principles.
What is your answer to this
Madame Prime Minister
RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE HIGHWAY REVIEW COMMITTEE ON THE DEBE TO MON DESIR HIGHWAY
The Highway Review Committee was formed to undertake an independent review of the Debe to Mon Desir highway.
This independent committee has made the following recommendations in its Report: ?
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