THE National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Nidco) has launched an investigation into why members of the media were not allowed to accompany Nidco on a site visit yesterday in South Trinidad.
The media was informed last Friday of the site visit by Nidco through its communications manager Ingrid Ishmael.
The visit was expected to take place at noon at Petit Morne, Phase 2A. The Estate Management Business Development Company (EMBD) is responsible for the development of the area earmarked for residents soon to be relocated to make way for the Point Fortin highway extension.
However, when the Sunday Express showed up at the site, there was an armed police presence. One police officer told the Sunday Express: “No cars are supposed to be going up there or parking along here. The media was not invited. You all go back home. Go and express yourself.”
Ishmael apologised to the media yesterday.
She told the Sunday Express: “I want to apologise on behalf of Nidco for that disruption. As the communications manger of Nidco, I received no communication from the EMBD that there would be such police presence on site to keep the media away because that was not the intention of Nidco.
“Nidco wanted to ensure that the public, through the electronic and printed media, that the population would understand what is taking place at Petit Morne where the site is being developed for legally relocated residents.”
Ishmael said: “When I heard about the police presence, I immediately contacted our president acting Ms Hilda Goodial and she stated that she will actually investigate immediately what was taking place. A report is being done to get to the root of what took place today so that this evening we can have a discussion on what actually transpired.”
Ishmael said soon-to-be-relocated residents to the area met with Nidco officials and were taken on a tour throughout the site.
She said this week public utilities such as water and electricity should be included.
“The site tour was to show them (residents) the site and get feedback from them and give them information where they lacked it,” Ishmael said.
Yesterday was the first of several similar tours that will be taking place, she added.
Attempts to get in contact with the EMBD yesterday were futile.