Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 29th 2014 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
POST YOUR VIEWS ON ANY OF TODAY'S STORIES @ WWW.GUARDIAN.CO.TT
Saturday, March 29, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Sports Minister Anil Roberts says while Oppo-
sition Leader Dr Keith Rowley is accusing the Gov-
ernment of bid rigging in the tendering award for
the Beetham Waste Water Plant contract, Rowley
was also part of a government in 2007 that approved
almost $700 million for a similar programme.
He made the comment during yesterday s sitting
of the House of Representatives during debate on
the motion for the Prime Minister to stop the award
of the contract for the plant.
"I hold up a Cabinet Minute of November 3, 2007,
two days before a national general election. The PNM
Cabinet, including the MP for Diego Martin West,
agreed to the implementation of a water re-use pro-
gramme at the Beetham Waste Water Treatment
Facility at the estimated cost of $698 million, roughly
$700 million and this is in 2007. They did this in the
dead of night when people were thinking of voting,"
He asked Rowley if he had any interest in a waste
water plant in Beetham.
Rowley got up and replied: "I have no interest in
a waste water plant in T&T."
Roberts then read from a Hansard document dated
Friday, April 28, 2000, in the debate of the award of
the Desalination contract. He said that during that
debate, Rowley stated he was the consultant for a
group of investors and business people who sought
his services as a geologist and they went to then
Minister Ganga Singh with regard to the upgrade of
the Sea Lots Sewer Treatment Plant.
"I know why the MP for Diego Martin West had
a problem. He had a group of investors that he was
advising and they were dealing with a sewer treatment
plant. I gave him an opportunity to declare all interests,"
During the break Roberts told the media that the
accusations Rowley is making about alleged bid ridding
in the award of the contract for the Beetham Waste
Water Plant by the Government was unfounded and
will only harm T&T s image abroad.
"The Opposition must be more responsible because
the country s reputation is at hand," he said.
"When the Leader of the Opposition makes accu-
sations they must be based on facts and evidence.
"Dr Rowley is casting aspersions on our country
which will impact on the growth of the economy.
We expect three per cent growth in 2014. If he con-
tinues with these spurious claims then investors from
abroad will be a little more careful on whether they
want to invest."
He accused Rowley and the opposition of wasting
the Government s time with the debate.
"I am here defending spurious, ridiculous, non-
sensical allegations on my Government. I am here
refuting their claims. He (Rowley) is quoting the
Guardian newspaper today, but yesterday he is saying
it is the worst. This is all because he never got a blue
light," he said. Before he started his contribution,
Roberts also claimed to have written a letter of com-
plaint to House Speaker Wade Mark after being
accosted and abused by PNM hooligans outside the
House. (See page A5)
PNM had similar
plan in '07---Anil
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
yesterday called on Prime Minister Kamla
Persad-Bissessar to stop the $1.6 billion
contract award to Super Industrial Serv-
ices Ltd (SIS) for the construction of the
Beetham Waste Water Treatment Plan,
or she will face a legal challenge in the
Rowley made the threat during his pres-
entation of a private motion on the contract
in the House of Representatives, Port-of-
The project involves the construction
of a wastewater recycling plant at Beetham
and pipelines to run to Point Lisas in central
Trinidad for use at the industrial plants.
In his contribution, Rowley said all was
not above board with the project.
"When I leave this Parliament I will col-
laborate with the legal fraternity outside
to go to the court to have this project
stopped, because it does not qualify under
the laws of Trinidad and Tobago."
He accused the Water and Sewage
Authority (WASA) and the National Gas
Company (NGC) of engaging in collusion
and conflict of interest in the project.
"In the case of the current award, suf-
ficient public information exists that estab-
lishes a relationship between the NGC
chairman and SIS to raise concerns of
impropriety in the award of the contract,"
Rowley said the Integrity Commission
should investigate the award of the con-
No CEC awarded yet
With documents in hand, Rowley said
WASA had applied to the Environmental
Management Authority (EMA) for a CEC
for the plant and the pipeline route, but
as at February 17, 2014, no CEC had been
issued for the project.
He told legislators that the EMA had
also not determined if there was need for
an Environmental Impact Assessment, but
"they have gone ahead and committed
taxpayers to a billion-dollar project.
He stressed: "If this project is not
stopped, as it can be stopped in the court
because it doesn t have the relevant
approval, there are people in this country
who can approach the court to have it
According to the Opposition Leader, the
Government may have, or was intent on
paying millions of dollars in mobilisation
fees to the contractor, which, he said, was
in preparation of the 2015 general elec-
Rowley also dismissed claims by Energy
Minister Kevin Ramnarine that SIS was
chosen over Atlatec because its bid was
technically inferior to that of SIS. He want-
ed to know how Atlatec documents could
have been used by WASA in discussions
with the EMA.
According to Rowley, the Government
is seeking to "damage the public interest
by awarding a series of contracts in this
way, where tender processes are question-
able, bid-rigging is the order of the day
and selected handpicked persons are the
beneficiaries of huge sums of public
Rowley explained: "That is what is hap-
pening here. The treasury is being raped
by elements of the Government. Stop this
He said citizens must now stand up and
defend themselves against the Government
and urged the NGC not "to pay public
money to the contractor on this matter.
This project is going to be stopped."
Earlier, hundreds of PNM supporters
heeded Rowley s call to assemble outside
the Parliament as a show of protest as he
presented the motion inside. A large group
of United National Congress protesters
also assembled outside the Parliament in
a show of support to the Prime Minister.
They cheered as she walked to the building
while the PNM supporters booed her.
Gender, Youth and Child Development
Minister Clifton De Couteau retrieves a
placard which fell from PNM supporters
during a demonstration outside the
Parliament Building at Tower C,
International Waterfront, Port-of-Spain,
yesterday. PHOTO MICHEAL BRUCE
Rowley threatens court action over Beetham deal
Stop project now
Links Archive March 28th 2014 March 30th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page