The recent controversies that have erupted regarding practices, procedures and expenditure at President’s House does not come as a surprise to me.
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Billion-dollar mall upgrade starts soon
George Aboud, the man behind the $1.1 billion upgrade of the Centre City Mall in Chaguanas, expects construction of the mega project to begin soon. Aboud, of George Aboud & Sons Ltd (GASL,) confirmed that he is the owner of Centre City Mall, which is earmarked for a hefty upgrade. “There is nothing more to add. The project will start soon,” he said. On Wednesday Anthony Fifi, a land developer and consultant with GASL, unveiled the billion-dollar project during a Planning Ministry consultation on an implementation strategy for the 4Cs Growth Pole, at the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce conference hall in Camden, Couva. Aboud said yesterday the mall was established 25 years ago.
Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce president Lily Heerai welcomed the project which will provide job opportunities for residents in the area during construction and upon completion. “The mega mall will really enhance Chaguanas in terms of economic development,” said Heerai who admitted that she had some concerns about implementation of the project. “They will need to address the traffic situation. Even though they have the new traffic plan I do not know if it will continue. Chaguanas continues to have traffic all the time,” she said. Heerai also had concerns about the actual construction phase of the project and its impact on the traffic situation. “They need to address some of the traffic problems there before construction starts. To some extent the construction will cause some havoc. There will be trucks going in and out and that will be a hindrance to traffic as well,” she said.
Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodan is expected to meet with Chaguanas vendors at midday today to discuss the project and its implications for their trade. Boodan, who met with Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray to discuss the project and its impact on the borough, said he scheduled the meeting to give vendors a chance to share their views and concerns about the overall development of Chaguanas. Currently vendors occupy the old Chaguanas health centre building and with the expansion and upgrade of Centre City Mallm, they will be affected.
“I want to engage the stakeholders in Chaguanas and I want to start with the vendors. I have always had a bottom to top approach in dealing with matters and I want to meet with vendors,” he said. The meeting will be held at the Chaguanas Borough Corporation auditorium, Cumberbatch Street, Chaguanas.