Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 11th 2014 Contents A5
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Opposition leader Dr Keith Row-
ley is calling on President Anthony
Carmona to demand an explanation
from Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar on an alleged billion-dollar
rape on the Treasury via the pro-
posed construction of the Beetham
Water Recycling Plant (WRP).
He made the appeal during a news
conference yesterday. He also called
on Persad-Bissessar "to stop this con-
tract and if this water treatment plant
is to be built, that a proper tendering
process be entered into."
Rowley also said he was calling on
the Independent Senators "to stand
up in the Parliament and point out
the failures of the Government."
He said he was going to take the
matter to Parliament for debate via
a private motion, saying: "The people
of T&T are not defenceless."
Rowley said all the documents
would be made available to Carmona
and he was confident the President
"will ask of the Prime Minister expla-
nations for this rape of our Treas-
He also intends to write to the
World Bank, the IMF, IDB, CDB and
Caricom to complain about "the
behaviour of this corrupt Govern- ment, which has made a career of
raping the Treasury of T&T."
Rowley said he was also calling on
the trade unions, the co-operative
movement, the IRO, the Transparency
Institute and all citizens "to stand up
and object to the rape of our Treasury
by a small, privileged group of peo-
B , y o y
Rowley alleged that a contract for
the construction of the plant was to
be awarded soon to the firm Super
Industrial Services Ltd, whose bid
price was $400 million more than
the other bidder. Rowley said a list
of 16 bidders were reduced to two
companies, SIS and Atlatec.
Rowley said the bidding process
was conducted in such a way as to
"drive away" the other 14 bidders,
many of which were more experi-
enced than SIS.
"And when we are left with two
(bidders) we ignore the fact that one
major company could do the job $400
million cheaper than the other con-
The project was initially proposed
under WASA but was subsequently
transferred to the NGC, Rowley said,
and during the just concluded Car-
nival celebrations WASA and the NGC
started an advertisement campaign
to promote the project.
He added: "What in effect they
were doing was providing vaseline
for the public acceptance of this, con-
ditioning us that something good was
being done on the public's behalf.
"Instead what was happening here
was one of the most cynical action
of the public rape of a treasury any-
where in the Commonwealth."
He said it had started since the
Environment and Water Resources
Minister Ganga Singh was CEO at
WASA in 2010. WASA first tendered
for the project in June 2012 and NGC
was brought on board a year later to
handle the project.
The project, Rowley said, was eval-
uated in such a way to cause the tax-
payers to pay $400 million more to
The press conference was held at
the Opposition meeting room, Tower
D, Waterfront Complex, Wrightson
Road, Port-of-Spain, because Row-
ley's office on Charles Street had no
o y: t y t $ o y
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A to o o - t o t o t o .
A . PHOTO: MICHAEL BRUCE
• Contract to be awarded to SIS.
• SIS bid $400m higher than
• Bidding process rigged to rule
out 16 other firms.
• PM, Cabinet, boards of WASA,
A detailed file on the death of the
baby boy whose head was slashed
from ear to ear during a caesare-
an-section surgery is to be sent to
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.
This was confirmed by Health
Minister Dr Fuad Khan during an
interview last night.
Khan said given the nature of the
investigation and the details which
have emerged thus far, it was only
wise to seek legal advice from Ram-
"I believe something of this nature
must be considered and looked at
by the Attorney General.
"He is after all the legal represen-
tative of the government," Khan
On the details of the investigative
team, Khan said it would comprise
a small number, probably fewer than
He said he met with various rep-
resentative of the regional health
authorities yesterday to discuss who
was best suited to be part of the
team. Certain names were consid-
ered, , he added,one of which could
include a doctor from the United
"At this point we are considering
everyone. I have another meeting
with the chief medical officer tomor-
row (today) and from there we will
decide on the final details of the
team," Khan added.
He acknowledged there were a lot
of emotions involved in the matter
but said it must be put into perspec-
"There is the loss of a life involved
and a host of issues which must be
put into the proper perspective and
we have to be guided in what we
The baby boy, who was to be
named Simeon, endured some ten
to 15 minutes of agony before he
His mother, Quelly Ann Cottle,
38, went to the Mt Hope Women's
Hospital on Carnival Saturday to have
a c-section operation done. She was
transferred from the Sangre Grande
In an interview yesterday, Cottle
said she remembered when the baby,
who was seven months two weeks
old, was taken out of the womb
"I remember being sewn up, and
after, when I was being wheeled out
of the operating theatre, I looked
back. I saw my baby on a table with
a plaster on his head screaming.
"I was aware of what was going
on, because they did not put me to
sleep to do the operation, they just
numb me from the waist down...so
it's not like I did not know what was
going on," Cottle said.
She said when she was taken back
to the postnatal ward she repeatedly
asked the nurse to be allowed to hold
Cottle also asked why it was taking
so long for the baby to brought up
to the ward.
The only answer she was given,
she said, was that the doctor was
"seeing about the baby because he
got a little cut on the head."
The nurses also assured her that
she would get to hold her baby and
that everything was fine.
"They keep giving me hope. All
this time I'm in the ward after the
surgery asking for the baby and
nobody want to tell me anything.
"I kept believing my baby coming
just now for me to hold him," Cottle
She said it was only when a pae-
diatrician came to visit her some
some time later that she realised her
baby was dead. Even then, she added,
she got no clear answers.
"The paediatrician was taking
about my baby in the past tense...she
was saying the baby 'was....'
"I asked her, 'What you mean,
"was?"'...That was when I realised
my baby was dead," Cottle remem-
She paid kudos to one doctor who
she said had looked after her properly
from day one.
"She came to the ward and held
my hand. She said, 'I don't know
what to tell you.'
"She just sat with me and stayed
with me...a perfect stranger," Cottle
There were specific medical per-
sonnel, she said, who were insisting
that the cause of her baby's death
was severe prematurity.
Baby born alive
Hospital officials have confirmed
the baby did not die immediately but
was born alive.
One official said efforts were made
to try to resuscitate the infant but
proved futile. The official added that
the cut appeared to be "very deep."
Cottle said she met with hospital
officials yesterday morning who
offered to pay the full cost of the
burial, which was estimated at
Cottle described the meeting with
the officials as courteous, saying they
took her husband's number and
promised to keep in touch.
On the date and time of the serv-
ice, Cottle said that was yet to be
decided, as she wanted to ensure all
the facts were properly documented
before her son was laid to rest.
She is expected to receive a detailed
autopsy report today on her son's
The doctors involved
The doctor who performed the
surgery, a registrar, has since been
suspended with basic pay with
immediate effect pending the out-
come of an investigation.
Questions were also raised about
the whereabouts of two consultants.
It was reported that the registrar was
left on his own to do the operation,
as one consultant was in Tobago and
the other did not report for duty.
Apart from working at the Eric
Williams Medical Sciences Complex,
they also reportedly work in a private
capacity at a private hospital in east
Khan working on probe team
Death of baby at Mt Hope...
Once a team is implemented it
would take between two to three
weeks for the investigation to be
completed, officials from the health
They added that particular probe
would deal directly with negligence.
"The final report which was pre-
pared by the North Central Region-
al Health Authority (NCRHA) has
nothing to do with negligence. It
deals specifically with process and
procedure, so it is two different
issues being examined," one official
Hospital officials said the death
certificate listed the cause of death
•Laceration to right parietal lobe
•Penetrating injury to right pari-
•Iatrogenic laceration to scalp
The detailed autopsy report,
officials said, would include more
Clinical pathologist Dr Chunilal
Ramjit did the autopsy.
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