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'Weaker' Kublalsingh hopeful

An "extremely weak" Dr Wayne Kublalsingh was forced to accept two litres of intravenous fluids on Saturday night. Kublalsingh, in a telephone interview yesterday, admitted to feeling "weaker" as the days went on and took the IV fluids overnight.

The IV fluids consisted of mainly saline with five per cent dextrose, he said.

Kublalsingh, even though physically drained by his hunger strike, said he was mentally preparing to begin this third week with no food and water.

He said he was looking forward to hearing the outcome of today's meeting between Works Minister Emmanuel George and several civil society bodies to discuss a possible independent review of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the highway project in a bid to end the hunger strike impasse between himself and the Government.

At 11 a.m. today, the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) and Trinidad and Tobago Transparency Institute will sit with George, the first meeting granted by the Government since Kublalsingh started his hunger strike 19 days ago.

"I support the JCC initiative and await the results of that meeting," Kublalsingh said.

Kublalsingh said he did not hear Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar's speech after the United National Congress meeting at Rienzi Complex on Saturday night, but heard that she talked about the economic prosperity resulting from the highway to Point Fortin.

"I want to reiterate that we want the highway. We want the highway from San Fernando to Point Fortin. We want the highway from Golconda to Debe. Nor do we want to stop the works from Debe to Mon Desir, we just want to re-route it," he said.

He said if it really was about economic prosperity, then the Government should have no problem with producing the cost benefit analysis which he and the re-route team insisted be undertaken as part of the review.

"It must be proved though a cost benefit analysis and the hydrological study, not announced as rhetoric. We must develop this nation not using assumptions but accurate science and rationality," Kublalsingh said.

Despite the strong words, Kublalsingh admitted to feeling "extremely weak and chilly and extremely dehydrated" but said the hunger strike would continue today outside the Prime Minister's office in St Clair. —Renuka Singh

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