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Progress or the same old khaki pants?

San Fernandians had to give up their public car park and craft mall at Chancery Lane for the PNM's plan for a public administration building many years ago at great inconvenience to the maxi-taxi community, car owners and vendors and craftsmen from the mall.

Instead we now have a brand new teaching hospital, thanks to the Government's poaching of the city's assets, Naparima Bowl having escaped a similar fate. I do not discount the need for a teaching hospital, but not at such a cost to the burgesses and commuters of San Fernando.

The present revised traffic plan for entering and leaving High Street is worse than before. Only the opening up of Short Street makes sense.

The total monthly rent being paid to landlords in the city for the passport office at Knox Street, the Board of Inlanxd Revenue office at Cipero Street, Registrar of Births and Deaths at Leotaud Street, the Revenue office and Social Welfare office at Independence Avenue is exorbitant.

Again San Fernandians have been denied a one-stop shop to conduct their business. The City Corporation should be reminded to include the former vendors and craft people they placed at the Rodriguez building at Kings Wharf in their development plan for the waterfront. Their current location is an area of the city that no one visits to buy anything, and from my investigations the City Corporation does not even acknowledge the existence of this group to whom they are obligated, having taken away the mall at Chancery Lane.

I have no problem with the Government's drive in continuing the PNM's plan for First World development, but it should be done in carefully thought-out stages, and not at the risk of placing the country's economy in a precarious position. You cannot continue to spend money you don't have by simply creating a greater deficit every year. It's not that simple.

Most of the large capital ventures such as universities, highways, the billions for Clico etc are being funded from the Treasury, and with our dependency on a stable oil economy we are walking a tightrope. It's not enough to utilise the PNM's ideas and complete their projects.

This Government has yet to show creativity in identifying real income earners for GDP growth. Whilst we want our path on the development graph to edge upwards for years to come, we would not like our children's children to be paying for it through their noses in the decades ahead.

Joel Quintal

San Fernando

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