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174 households must move for San Fernando Waterfront project

By Sandhya Santoo sandhya.santoo@trinidadexpress.com

SOME 174 households are to be relocated from along the Lady Hailes Avenue and King's Wharf, San Fernando, if the San Fernando Waterfront Redevelopment project is to become a reality.

The Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development hosted a public presentation on the draft Waterfront Redevelopment feasibility study at San Fernando City hall Auditorium on Wednesday, where consulting team, Deloitte Caribbean & Bermuda Limited and Affiliates listed a number of projects to be undertaken.

Relocation of residents and fisher folk were listed as high priority projects as the intention is to reclaim 3.8 hectares in the area of the present jetty.

Several people raised concerns, asking about provisions for dislocated fisherfolk and why the city corporation was not listed as being a part of the development. The team was also told it had neglected the Sea Bathers Association, and there would need to be a relocation of the Water Taxi terminal and scout house.

In response, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie said the fisherfolk seem to be the most anxious of all the groups and was put in the category of 2-5 years with the option of severance or to continue fishing.

Tewarie said the city corporation will be included.
However, he said, institutions like UDeCOTT (The Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited) and NIDCO (National Infrastructure Development Company Limited) are capable of doing the kind of construction and management which would be required. He said it would make little sense to develop the city without the city council being a part of it.

Tewarie also made mention of the absence of City Mayor Kazim Hosein. He said, "This is about the fifth time we invited the Mayor to take part in this and I wouldn’t say it was a discourtesy not to come". He added it is important for the city mayor to be present and to express his views as the approach is for the inclusion of all the key players so they could work together.

Hosein told the Express yesterday that he was sick and unable to attend. He said, "we have a confident Deputy Mayor and I have full confidence with him and the councillors". When asked the reason for his absence previously, he said, "I had a meeting to attend".

Tewarie said he did not want the Government alone to be involved in the financing to develop, San Fernando but wants the involvement of private sectors. He said the project will commence as soon as funds have been allocated after the National Budget. However smaller projects are expected "so that people can understand that we are doing something serious".

*Sebastien Paddington who is part of the consulting team said there were four phases. These were phase one being immediate. Phase two, short term (0-2 years), Phase three the Intermediate term (2-5 years) and Phase four which is Long term (5-10 years).
*Other projects includes: establishing Plaza San Carlos Heritage District, developing a Transit Hub and a multi-storey car park.
*Developing private Yacht Club and reconstruction of the seawall.
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