Disputed highway construction set to restart

Former minister Mary King rubs the feet of environmentalist Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh while paying a visit during the eighth day of Kublalsingh’s hunger strike to protest the highway’s construction.
Former minister Mary King rubs the feet of environmentalist Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh while paying a visit during the eighth
day of Kublalsingh’s hunger strike to protest the highway’s construction.

PORT OF SPAIN — Work on the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir section of the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway is expected to resume, as the Highway Review Committee’s report on the controversial project gives the green light for its resumption.

But Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh objected yesterday to the government’s interpretation of the report. Work on that section of the project was stopped in December to allow for a 60-day review to be done by a committee, which was chaired by Independent senator Dr. James Armstrong.

It was appointed after the Joint Consultative Council intervened in the impasse between Kublalsingh, the leader of the Highway Re-route Movement, and the Government. Kublalsingh went on a hunger strike for three weeks to press for a review of the project late last year.

Works and Infrastructure Minister Emmanuel George told yesterday’s post- cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St. Clair that he had received an unsigned copy of the report on Ash Wednesday. He said a preliminary view of the report “brings good news to the population in that it indicates that the highway should be built”. On the basis of the findings of the committee, he said, there was no issue with the route of the highway or its impact on the environment, and the Government was prepared to “take the advice and as far as possible accommodate their suggestions and recommendations as we proceed to build the highway”. (Guardian)

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