Proposed changes in infrastructure is expected to improve business in Chaguanas, said Ministers Suruj Rambachan and Bhoe Tewarie.Speaking at a public consultation on changing Chaguanas from a borough to city status on Thursday at the Town Hall of the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, Cumberbatch Street, Works Minister Rambachan announced plans to make the flow of traffic in and out of the central borough easier.
He said work should begin by October at the Monroe Road flyover to create loops similar to the Preysal flyover to reduce traffic.In three weeks' time, said Rambachan, work was scheduled to begin on both sides of the Endeavour flyover which would allow traffic to enter and exit the borough more quickly.
He said a lay-by would be created on the northbound lane to allow traffic to bypass the congestion created in the vicinity of the Medford gas station, thus making highway access easier. Rambachan said plans had begun to create a ring road around Chaguanas. He said this included making a two-lane bridge to link the Edinburgh 500 Boulevard to the Caparo Valley Brasso Road.
Rambachan said the new Planning and Facilitation Development Bill would give the authorities better power to regulate erratic behaviour as some people put up structures on road reserves, leaving little room for expansion.
Rambachan said Cabinet had taken the decision to refit the building earmarked for the Chaguanas library into the Magistrates' Court. He said there were plans to establish a High Court in Chaguanas using an existing structure.
Planning Minister Tewarie said permission would be given to allow for the construction of 12-storey buildings. The plan to relocate the library did not go down too well with some members of the public, but Tewarie assured that central Trinidad would get a library in due time. He said it was a priority to create a new court house to deal with a backlog of cases.
Tewarie said the car park of Globe cinema would be rented to house street vendors presently occupying the site of the old health centre along the Chaguanas Main Road. Tewarie said this would allow for the creation of a green space in the middle of Chaguanas and construction of a multi-storey car park and a vendors' mall.
Former Chaguanas mayor Orlando Nagassar, who sat in the audience, said many people were becoming victims of propaganda as they believed changing Chaguanas to city status would create additional taxes.Nagessar said the present vendors' mall was nothing short of a shantytown and classed it as the Beetham of Chaguanas.