Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rusty ships before traffic woes

The Minister of Transport has once again demonstrated the priority of the Ministry of Transport. I refer to an article in the Express (July 3) headlined “$20m to remove shipwrecks in Gulf”.

Every day, one has to leave San Fernando and other rural areas approximately 4 a.m. to reach into Port of Spain. When they leave Port of Spain at 4 p.m. they get home at 7 p.m. The traffic is horrendous and is getting worse daily.

One has to take an entire day off to go to licensing office to get a simple transaction done and we have been hearing for six years now that this problem is being addressed.

To clear goods at the port of Port of Spain is also a frustrating process due to the bureaucratic system. Workers at the Airports Authority are frustrated at the delays in their wage negotiations. Buses at PTSC are never on schedule although the Government keeps highlighting as an achievement a “mass transit system”.

I highlighted all these problems to show where, given all these pressing issues of urgent public importance, the Minister of Transport has gone to Cabinet to get $20 million of taxpayers’ money to remove about 30 rusty boats Columbus left in the sea.

These ships are available to be sold as scrap metal. So the successful tenderer for this project will essentially be doubling up because they are being paid to move an asset that has a high salvage value.

I want to ask the Minister how are these “rusty boats” that have been in the sea for decades a priority, over all these other issues and how many votes does he believe the People’s Partnership will get if these boats are removed?

Randy Tillah

San Fernando