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Highway Re-route report complete, set for publication
The Highway Review Committee has completed its report on the controversial $7.5 billion highway and is expected to have its findings published later this week. President of the Joint Consultative Council for the construction industry Afra Raymond confirmed yesterday the report had been completed.
However, he said there were details which were still being worked out. He added that all stakeholders will be given a copy of the report, including head of the Highway Re-route Movement Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (FITUN) and chairman of the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) Dr Carson Charles.
Raymond said he did not know what would happen after the report was submitted to the various parties. “We have to wait and see. We have to look at all the technical details,” he said. He could not say how and when the report would be distributed. Meanwhile, Kublalsingh said whatever the outcome of the report, he is willing to cooperate with the government.
“We are hoping that they will treat this report with great seriousness, because teams of competent people including scientists in the field of transport, economics and transport engineering, have examined cost-benefit analysis, hydrology, ecology and social-impact analysis. They have been working hard professionally over the last two months,” Kublalsingh said.
He added, “The report should not be taken lightly and should be treated with the same degree of attention and response that a decision handed over by a court of law should be treated. We look forward to receiving the report and we hope to get it by Wednesday. We spoke to the JCC’s Winston Riley on Friday and he said so.”
Asked what will be done after he collects the report, Kublalsingh added, “We hope that the report will be studied. We will understand it and we need to not play politics with it, but interpret what it says in spirit. We should all abide by its conclusions and recommendations. We haven’t seen it as yet.”
Kublalsingh agreed that the government has the final say. However, he said, “We need to cooperate with the government because they cannot bear the impact of more protest, so I will suggest to the government that they dialogue with us and other civic organisations to come to the best solution to the problem.” Kublalsingh said his team met four times with the committee and was always treated with cordiality and professionalism.
Both Charles and Works Minister Emmanuel George were unavailable for comment as calls to their cell phones went unanswered up to late yesterday.
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