Thursday, January 18, 2018

'Kublalsingh should give up'

MINISTER of Works and Infrastructure Emmanuel George has said Dr Wayne Kublalsingh should give up on trying to convince the Government to not build the Debe-to-Mon Desir segment of the highway to Point Fortin.

He said all technical studies were conducted, and there were discussions with the Highway Re-Route Movement, the group Kublalsingh leads. George said the majority of citizens would benefit from the construction of the highway.

However, he said, the group kept "moving the goal post".

George was speaking to reporters yesterday at the opening ceremony for Hosinee Trace and Lower Piparo Road.

Yesterday was the seventh day of Kublalsingh's hunger strike—a fast without food or water, as he seeks a meeting with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

George said, "I will think that Dr Kublalsingh must know that we have attended to all of his issues, and what he is doing now is really uncalled for. We have dealt with the issues. Perhaps it does not result in what he wanted, but because it did not result in what he wanted, it does not mean that he has to go on this strike and take this extreme position."

George said, "This is a very extreme position for him to take. I know that we want people like Dr Kublalsingh in our society. Any society would love to have people like Dr Kublalsingh who will take his environmental issues up seriously and so on and in a kind way speak on behalf of the community. But once we have given the assurances that society requires that allays his concerns, he should give up on this and let the Government run the country, and let the highway be built because it will bring considerable benefit to the population."

George said the highway will not be passing through the Oropouche Lagoon, as stated by the Re-Route Movement.

He said the designs for the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension were drawn many years ago, when the highway was first constructed 30 years ago.

George opened the newly paved Lower Piparo Road that was affected when the Piparo volcano erupted in 1997.