Sunday, February 25, 2018

Business groups in agreement: Build highway from 'Point'

THE three main business organisations with interest in the planned Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension to Point Fortin agree that construction should begin from the Point Fortin end while the controversial issues concerning parts of the highway are sorted out.

On Sunday at a press briefing at Camden Heliport in Couva, chairman of the National Infrastructure Development Company (Ltd) Nidco Dr Carson Charles said oil wells located along the proposed path of the highway were being capped between La Brea and Point Fortin.

Nidco's project manager Earl Wilson, who is in charge of the highway to Point Fortin, said there were fewer land acquisition issues along the path of the highway between Mon Desir and Point Fortin because much of it was State-owned land.

President of the Penal/Debe Chamber of Commerce Sahid Hosein told the Express: "We are in agreement with it because at the end of the day, the highway has to end in Point. If they had stopped the highway in order to make determinations as to the feasibility of passing through the Oropouche Lagoon then it makes sense. The contractor cannot complain that the highway is being stopped or demobilised. It is a logical thing to do."

Keith Sankar, president of the Siparia Chamber of Commerce, said he was asked by the Point Fortin Chamber of Commerce to support its stance that the highway's work should start in the borough.

He said the Chamber had no problem with that as long as the highway was built.

"We want the highway. People want the highway. We need something to happen in rural Trinidad and I think the highway would definitely provide a scope and an opportunity for economic development and economic upheaval in Trinidad."

Point Fortin Mayor Clyde Paul who had repeatedly called for the highway to begin in Point Fortin said he was "happy" to be told of the plan because it will help lower the unemployment rate in the borough.

He said most of the land from Mon Desir to Point Fortin was already State-owned.