Tuesday, February 20, 2018

UDeCOTT implementing agency


controversial project: Invader’s Bay in Port of Spain.

Mark Fraser

 The Urban Development Cor­poration of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) has once again become the enabling agency for the Invader’s Bay project. 

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced last month all “further dealings” involving the lands allocated under the Invader’s Bay project have now been assigned to UDeCOTT.

She said because the lands originally belonged to UDe­COTT, they are “to be trans­ferred, con­veyed back to UDe­COTT as the implementing agency”.

The Prime Minister was respon­ding to a question during the first prime ministerial ques­tion time in the House of Repre­sentatives.

She stressed however the ruling of Justice Frank See­per­sad on the Invader’s Bay lawsuit, brought by the Joint Con­sultative Council (JCC) against the Minister of Planning, did not impugn the process used by her Government to allocate the lands for this multibillion-dollar project. 

“The judgment does not pre­clude the follow- through with the process that was put in place,” she said, stressing the judgment “related to a matter touching on the Freedom of Information Act”. 

The Prime Minister was respon­ding to a specific question by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, on whether in the face of the landmark ruling of Justice Seepersad on Invader’s Bay, the Prime Minister was prepared to have her Government still pro­ceed with the distribution of the lands at Invader’s Bay, “even while there are serious concerns about the process”.

“The ruling in no way impac­ted upon the process for the distribution of lands,” the Prime Minister replied . 

Rowley then contended the issue of whether the ministry breached the Central Tenders Board Act was the root of the issue and therefore questioned the decision not to halt the project.

The Prime Minister however reiterated the Seepersad judg­ment was predicated on the freedom of information action and not on process.

Asked by Rowley whether the Government would proceed with the distribution of those lands, the Prime Minister said she could not say yea or nay, but she stressed “nothing in the judgment stops the ministry from proceeding”.