Saturday, December 16, 2017

$7b highway can't be our top priority

I was born and raised in the oilfields of Palo Seco, south Trinidad. I attended secondary school in San Fernando and for seven years endured the inconvenience of daily traffic and periodic flooding on Mosquito Creek. That traffic problem seems to have worsened since my school days and flooding seems more frequent.

It bothers me that Point Fortin, once a vibrant place, is more of a ghost town and that the people of Vessigny and La Brea are without jobs. There is no hospital and no other link to these areas other than via roads that are in the worst possible condition.

In the face of all of the above I remain unconvinced that a $7 billion highway will solve any of those problems. What I am convinced of is that the highway seems destined to perpetuate corruption that we are trying our best to stamp out and that we voted against in 2010.

If politicians really wanted to help people of the south the current roads would be maintained in a methodical fashion, there would be a hospital to serve the south-west peninsula and there would be more decentralisation of jobs and services. During the colonial era these things happened and they could happen again.

Accepting the highway is like wanting to receive stolen items. Why compromise our soul and integrity?

When this Government can assure us that this highway is taking its rightful place on the promised agenda of change, I will be happy but until then I am grateful for Dr Kublalsingh's sacrifice that has caused us to all do some soul- searching and keeping truth and transparency a front burner issue.

Michele D Celestine

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