Clear the air on re-route issue
How many truths are there regarding the highway re-route challenge?
The Highway Re-route Movement has its facts. So does the Government. How many of these facts can withstand public scrutiny? The re-route movement claims its proposal is more cost-effective and the Government says it has no other option.
Each entity is providing bits and pieces of the re-route puzzle. Sensationalism will get the headlines but may not win the re-route battle. Government authoritarianism may win the battle but lose the general election war. The public is yet to see and hear sound reasons why the re-route movement's position is better than the Government's, and the Government is yet to justify why it cannot re-route the highway as suggested by the movement.
Why can't each of these entities provide an insert in the newspapers, clearly articulating its position so that the reading public can get a better understanding of the, so far, opposing views? Who are the experts in the various views such as environmental, cost-effectiveness, relocation and negotiation?
Two of the tenets on which this Government came to power were "listen to the people" and "serve the people, serve the people, serve the people". Are the people being listened to? Look at the emphasis on serving the people. Are they being served?
Are the people who are affected breaking the law by squatting? Is it that the Government has made "unbreakable commitments" to build that section of the highway as it proposes? Is the highway passing through an influential person's land?
What is political cost of the Government's current actions? Is this impasse the People's Partnership Waterloo?
Will there be a new coalition of the PNM, MSJ, COP and re-route movement to challenge the UNC, which the existing partnership may become at the next general election?
It is time enough now for there to be a public debate between the leader of the re-route movement and the relevant Government official.
There should also be a clear understanding and commitment that whatever agreed measure is used to determine the outcome, each side will abide by the decision so that the country can move on with getting the economy moving again.