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Professor Winston Suite says Government should reconsider its position on the introduction of the rapid rail project. Suite, a lecturer of the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), made the statement on Monday as he addressed UTT’s response to the 2012/2013 budget. The forum was held at the South Campus of the National Academy for Performing Arts, Todd Street, San Fernando.
The multi-million-dollar project was stopped when the People’s Partnership took office in 2010. However, Suite believes this was not a wise developmental move. “I believe we have to return to the question of a rail transport linking north Trinidad and south Trinidad... partly for passengers, partly for goods,” he said.
He also suggested the project should not be limited to North-South transport but “we have to look at some form of rapid transport that connects the west of the island to the east of the island. We have to industrialise, spread the development, particularly in the Wallerfield area.”
Suite, who spoke on construction as outlined in Finance Minister Larry Howai’s maiden budget last week, said a feature of development was an efficient road network and Government should consider developing infrastructure nationwide. He said Government also should focus on constructing roads which had been on the agenda for more than 40 years, such as a highway along the North Coast and a highway from Sangre Grande to Toco.
“We have been talking about building a highway into Chaguaramas which will possibly allow the development of Chaguaramas,” he added. He said the nation was still waiting for the new procurement legislation. “We have been talking about it for more than ten years,” he added.
Suite said a national building code must be developed as well as a new physical-development plan. Howai, in his budget presentation, projected that T&T would experience a construction boom. However, Suite said contractors were not prepared for that. “If construction is so important, then why does it remain so disorganised?” Suite asked.
He called for the return of the National Productivity Council which had the responsibility to promote and develop greater productivity and quality awareness and consciousness among the public. That council, he said, should be expanded to oversee productivity in all sectors.