Thursday, January 18, 2018

Too much pressure on Chaguaramas


Mark Fraser

 The press has reported the developments in Chaguaramas and all the wonderful things we should expect from this. The boardwalk is currently being extended south and eastwards and it looks like many ancilliary buildings are going up in what was previously a delightful tree-shaded area beside the sea. 

The boardwalk will undoubtedly be popular and more people will stream into Chaguaramas. There will be more traffic jams, and businesses already established in Chaguaramas will undoubtedly suffer. For there is no plan to provide additional access to Chaguaramas and the current road cannot even cope with the existing traffic. The ferry service is a joke in terms of relieving the congestion.

Any plan to make alternative road access will cost billions. It should first be questioned exactly why more attractions are being planned for “Chag”. What is the objective? 

Then we should be told why nothing is being done to improve road access for even the existing establishments there.

The proposals to erect cable cars, joy rides, play parks, etc are quite ludicrous. In brochures promoting this type of “development”, childishly simplistic economic ideas are presented, claiming that money will be made from the fees to be charged so it’s all okay for “investors” to put down millions and millions of dollars, even if it brings the road into a state of permanent gridlock! 

We will not suddenly become a sun, sea and sand destination just because there is a cable-car ride available. The only tourists who will be attracted are our own abused citizens who have to waste their precious weekends sitting in a traffic jam or forking out taxes to pay for a ridiculous causeway that puts our grandchildren in debt.

Meanwhile there are genuine businesses in Chaguaramas that bring in valuable foreign exchange all of which are hampered by the ever-increasing traffic to party joints (wining and ridiculously loud music), tour boats (again wining and ridiculously loud music), and limers. Does this make business sense?

“Chag” has always been known as a place for beauty, serenity, and nature. That’s because it has always been off-limits to squatters and “developers”. This is what it should be preserved as and this does not take a great deal of money, nor does it require new causeways.

Minister Tewarie, you should be ashamed to have your name used by CDA in promoting this nonsense. 

The army should not be in Chaguaramas so why not plan to get it out. And while you’re at it examine their expenses. Do they really need an expensive high security fence around a football field? Who are they keeping out? How about misuse of military services for the benefit of senior military personnel? Many extravagances will be revealed. And whose money is being spent on that “upgrade”  of Chagacabana? Is there to be any payout benefitting the nation? Why is it all shrouded in secrecy?

Come on Minister, get seriously into the picture and stop the rot. You know that people can wine and listen to loud music in Central Trinidad where there are adequate roads.


                                          Reg Potter