Interim political leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP), Jack Warner, is among the featured speakers at a public meeting of the Debe to Point Fortin Highway Action Committee today.
The meeting is being held at the Debe High School, M2 Ring Road, Debe at 5 p.m.
According to a press release from committee president Edward Moodie, who is also a community liaison officer of the National Infrastructure Development Co (Nidco), “The meeting will be held to address the group members and anyone who is affected, about all issues which initiated and arise from the massive protest in South yesterday with regards to the construction of the Extension of the Solomon Hochoy Highway to Point Fortin project and the unfair treatment to residents who are affected by said project.”
Moodie and attorney Vashiest Maharaj are the other two feature speakers.
During their protest on Monday, residents of Penal, Fyzabad and South Oropouche who live in the path of the proposed Debe to Fyzabad segment of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin called for former minister of works and infrastructure Jack Warner to meet with them.
The residents demanded the compensation package that Warner had promised them back in 2012 and not what was now being “forced” upon them.
In March 2012 during an interview with a daily newspaper, Warner, then Minister of Works, is quoted as saying that Government was trying its best to treat with the situation as humanely as possible.
“It’s their inheritance and livelihood we are dealing with and we understand that. So we are trying our best to treat with the situation in a human fashion because we understand it’s not an easy task.”
In that article he said that counsellors would be provided for residents who had to be relocated and in addition to being fairly compensated for their land, they were also going to be given land in Petit Morne, Ste Madeleine. Government, Warner had said, would also pay one year’s rent for those residents whose homes were not yet completed during the relocation process.
This included squatters, who were to also be fairly compensated.
However, on Monday the protesting residents who demanded that they be treated fairly said they were now being offered smaller sums for their property which have already been demolished in some cases and only six months rent.
Moodie also called on Warner to meet with the residents over the compensation issues for the same reason and that meeting takes place today.
Several attempts to contact Warner on the issue yesterday proved futile.