Don’t disadvantage the poor and middle class.
That was the Opposition’s appeal to Government yesterday on the eve of today’s 2017 budget delivery.
Police have warned the five large mas bands which will be parading at the Socadrome in the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo, to stick within the agreed route. They said should they venture outside the designated route they may not get permission to try the initiative again next year. The warning came from Deputy Commissioner of Police and Gold Commander in charge of the Carnival celebrations, Earl Gonzales, during the weekly press briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain, on Thursday.
Gonzales said the bands were being allowed to leave the existing route to avoid the Queen’s Park Savannah, with the understanding that they were not to re-enter the route during the period they were supposed to be parading at the Socadrome. “We are going to keep our promise. I hope they would do the same, so that come 2015 and the same request is made, like what happened this year, we know exactly what we would do,” Gonzales said.
Asked if the bands would be barred from going to the Savannah, Gonzales said he was not saying that, only that the bands had agreed to stay within the vicinity of the complex between 8 am and 4 pm. He added that he did not expect them to go on the existing route during that time frame as they had said they would not be doing so during discussions with the police. Gonzales did not identify any penalties the bands would face if they ventured off their special route on Carnival Tuesday.
The bands—Bliss, Harts, Tribe, Yuma and latest addition Passion Carnival—are using the route in an initiative being used by the National Carnival Commission to test whether an extended parade route will alleviate some of the congestion heading to the Queen’s Park Savannah. Also speaking at the press briefing was Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Ramsubhag, who said police had created a security blanket around the capital to ensure all would have a safe and enjoyable Carnival.
He said there would be emergency routes leading to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital and anyone parked along the route would be towed. In addition, parking within the capital on Carnival Monday and Tuesday has been banned. He added that in the event of an emergency there were nine muster points.
To ensure the safety all citizens, police officers on vacation will be called out on active duty from 6 pm today and will be allowed to return on Ash Wednesday. From today, there will be joint police and army patrols in operation. The National Operations Centre (NOC) will be monitoring the activities live and mas bands will have global tracking systems so that the NOC will be able to locate them whenever necessary.
PoS Carnival muster points
Queen’s Park Savannah
King George V Park
Brian Lara Promenade
Hasely Crawford Stadium
Adam Smith Square
Lord Harris Square