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Highway review report still up in air
It is still unclear when the highway review report will be made public. Independent Senator Dr James Armstrong yesterday said the report had been handed over to Afra Raymond, president of the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) for the construction industry, on Monday. He said when the Highway Review Committee was set up last December an undertaking was given it would be made public.
The task of the committee, which Armstrong chaired, was to examine all aspects of the controversial Debe to Mon Desir segment of the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway. “We handed it over to the JCC and I don’t know when it would be made public. I have no idea what is happening with that,” Armstrong said.
Asked about the cost of the exercise, Armstrong directed the question to Raymond and added he could not divulge any details of the report, saying it was up to the JCC to do so. Leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah, a supporter of he Highway Re-Route Movement (HRM), yesterday said he was told the report was embargoed until today.
“It is my understanding there was a meeting with the review committee and the JCC last Friday. I also understand the report is embargoed until tomorrow (today) but there is no definite word on that,” he added. He did not specify whether it would be released to the public or to the movement.
Environmentalist and leader of the movement Dr Wayne Kublalsingh said yesterday he expected to receive a copy of the report today. When Kublalsingh began his 21-day fast outside the office of the Prime Minister last November, the JCC, the T&T Transparency Institute, Women Working for Social Progress (Working Women) and the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and NGOs (Fitun) called on Government to intervene.
Fitun president Joseph Remy yesterday said he also had not received a copy of the report but expected one to be handed over to the organisation and to be made public this week. He added he had no knowledge of what was in the report. A e-mail to Raymond asking for information on when the report would be made public, its findings and the cost of the initiative was unanswered.
When contacted, Raymond said he had received the e-mail but was in a meeting and was busy. He assured he would get back to the T&T Guardian to answer the questions but had not done so up to press time.
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