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High crime rate affecting progress, says Tewarie
The high crime rate is a deterrent to development in the San Juan/Laventille area and T&T in general, says Planning and Development Minister Bhoe Tewarie. “It is possible to have serious development in east Port-of-Spain but we cannot have serious development here unless east Port-of-Spain embraces peace and the role of community,” he said.
Tewarie was speaking yesterday at the opening ceremony of a project which involved the paving of a road at Upper McKai Lands, Upper Belmont Valley, Belmont. Tewarie said once there is a decline in crime, business people would have an incentive to invest their money in the area. “We talk about crime, we talk about criminals, we talk about violence, but nobody wants to talk about the fact that the community must say no, which involves the residence and the Government and involve the people from outside who are willing to take their money and invest,” he said.
He also pointed to Chaguaramas which is being developed. “Here can be developed like Chaguaramas. In Chaguaramas we are developing 15,000 acres which is the size of Bermuda and Bermuda is a whole country. The per capita of Bermuda is US $60,000 a year per person and Chaguaramas is the size of Bermuda which a seafront on almost every side. There is no reason why here cannot be a zone of development,” he said.
He also acknowledged the criminal elements who he said could have hindered the project in McKai Lands, Belmont, if they wanted, but they allowed the project to be finished for the good of the area. Chairman of the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation Nafeeza Mohammed, who also spoke said the corporation’s resources are very limited. “The Government this year slashed our budget by more than four million. Our development programme has been restricted. I appeal to the Government for additional resources,” she said.
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