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Tabaquite gets $18m roads

MACULAYAt yesterday’s ceremony to mark the reopening of the repaved Macaulay Trace and Caratal Road No 2 are, from left, Coosal’s chief executive Sieunarine Coosal, Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan who is also MP for the area, National Security Minister Jack Warner and Works and Infrastructure Minister Emmanuel George

A year after they were spat upon, chased and cursed by residents, former Works Minister Jack Warner and Tabaquite MP Dr Suruj Rambachan returned to Macaulay yesterday to open two $18 million roads. During the commissioning of the roads yesterday, Rambachan revealed that Caratal Road, which connects Macaulay to Forres Park was paved at a cost of $13.8 million, while the Macaulay Road which links Claxton Bay to Macaulay was paved at a cost of $5.2 million.

He said a retaining wall along Caratal Road cost $5 million; paving was completed at a cost of $6.3 million, while drainage was completed at a cost of $2.5 million. At the Macaulay Road, paving cost the Government $4.3 million, while drainage was completed at a cost of $900,000. A total of 12 contractors worked on the multi-million dollar project.

However, in delivering greetings, Warner said the time must come when one contractor is hired to build one road. “When you have 12 contractors, it means you have 12 levels of work, and 12 different kinds of road,” he said. “We may have to review the system and find work for the other contractors in other places, because the people in this area have waited too long.

He added that both roads could have been completed earlier, but the shutting down of the Programme for Upgrading Road Efficiency Unit (PURE) had caused the delays. “It is unfortunate but the five months that PURE was at a standstill is one of the biggest mistakes we made in this Government,” Warner told the residents. He added that the Macaulay and Caratal roads had not been paved for 40 years and it was understandable that residents would be frustrated.

He also said it was time for contractors to work on credit. “We have a system in Government which we have to change,” he said. “The system says you cannot award work until we have money. Something has to be wrong. We have contractors with deep pockets who will do work on credit. Why can’t we owe the contractor just as we owe the World Bank? Why can’t we owe them and in the process improve the lives of our people.”

He also added that the police needed good roads to chase down the criminals. Warner also promised to change the work culture in the protective services, adding that a different Independence Day parade will be held for the Jubilee celebrations.

Courtesy: Radhica Sookraj Trinidad Guardian

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