At the stakeholders meeting with the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) and the National Carnival Commission (NCC) at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, Chairman of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) Mervyn Richardson called for any breach in the Carnival proclamation to be made punishable and suggested seizing the permits of the trucks who won’t comply with the rules in effect.
Gerald Hart, of Harts International complained that the bottleneck bands cause is deliberate. “What bands do is that they send their trucks to purposely block the route so that nobody could cross and then sit on the route to wait for masqueraders to reach; that is the major problem. We need police because all these plans will be worth nothing. The problems are not whether we go clockwise or anticlockwise, the problem is with the bands that deliberately cause the bottlenecking,” Hart said.
Band leader Roslyn Gabriel also called for effective policing on the routes Monday and Tuesday.
“I agree that we have to try change, but when the bands are on the road and they face difficulties we don’t see the marshalls. My band left from Ariapita Avenue last year and we got stuck in an eight-hour jam on Charlotte Street because a band made an illegal move that caused hours of backup and there was not a marshall in sight on the road. There was no body to tell the band you cannot proceed. My common sense is not allowing me to see how the clockwise route is going to help us. What is going to help is marshalls all the way,” Gabriel said.