Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Kublalsingh to meet reviewers today

LEADER of the Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM), Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, plans to meet today with the independent committee set up to review the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway Extension to Point Fortin.

The meeting will take place in Port of Spain followed by a meeting with the HRM.

The committee was set up in the last days of Kublalsingh's hunger strike that lasted 21 days. It was formed after the intervention of the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) and other organisations who tried to convince the Government to agree to the independent study.

The committee, led by Independent Senator Dr James Armstrong, has 60 days to reveal its findings of the study. Work on the contentious parts of the highway is expected to only include earth preparation and grubbing works and no land acquisition until the committee's review is finalised.

Kublalsingh began a hunger strike in front of the Prime Minister's Office in St Clair on November 16 and ended it last Wednesday, after accepting the reworked terms of reference for the works on the Debe to Mon Desir section of the controversial highway.

Kublalsingh said his meeting with members of the HRM is "to determine our next action plan with respect to that part of the highway".

He said he was pleased with the possibility of the highway being started in Point Fortin.

Kublalsingh had appealed to the government to begin construction of the highway in Point Fortin while the complex issues related to the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the highway were being resolved.

He maintained yesterday: "That is exactly what we want. We have been talking to people in Point Fortin and they need to build a highway from Point Fortin to San Fernando. That is the real highway. That is where the big traffic is. That is where you need to get your goods from San Fernando to Point Fortin. That's where the people have called for 20 years for the highway. That's where it needs to be built."

And in terms of the country's economic situation, Kublalsingh said it would be more feasible to develop rural areas.

He said, "I think we need to make a very powerful and intellectual and economic and practical investment in what we call our rural areas in terms of the building of roads, sporting facilities, local government structure, health systems, farms and primary schools in particular."