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Tewarie: Increase in vehicles could become unmanageable
There are currently 700,000 cars on the roads of T&T and in a population of just over 1.3 million the growth of private vehicles could reach unmanageable proportions by 2015, Planning and Sustainable Development Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie warned yesterday.
“T&T’s inefficient use of energy in the development process aided by our low density, sprawling urban form with its growing transportation requirements may very well erode the gains made by our entrepreneurship and growth in the future unless we get a handle and form of urban growth,” he said at the opening of a four-day Caribbean Urban Forum at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre.
With unemployment under six per cent and the economy rebounding from the 2008 global economic crisis, Tewarie said T&T needs to find ways to better manage its energy resources, while developing integrated urban and transportation policies. He added that there is an urgent need to reduce energy consumption and adopt renewable energy systems, as well conceptualise and implement efficient distribution systems.
The minister said as soon as next month, he will lay the Planning and Facilitation of Development Bill in Parliament. This seven rounds of national consultation on the national spatial development strategy which offers a ten year plan with a 20-year vision for the country.
“We are going to structurally transform development planning and decision making in the country with the Planning and Facilitation of development Bill which we should be able to lay in Parliament next month. We are proceeding with a cluster diversification strategy for the country in seven areas: energy, food, marine, creative industries, ICT, finance and tourism. “Ministerial leadership together with private sector civil society and (trade) unions are taking this forward,” Tewarie said.
The minister said statistics showed that crime and anti-social behaviour was more concentrated in urban area and poor urban planning, design and management played a crucial role in shaping of and layout of cities and had a bearing on the activities of offenders and victims and the opportunities for crime.
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