Infrastructure Secretary boasts of saving the THA $2.8m


Trevor James –

SECRETARY for the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Trevor James boasted of saving the Tobago House of Assembly some $2.8 million by cancelling and re-awarding a contract.

James was the last of the secretaries to report in the THA’s first quarterly report for the year during its Mandate Monday event. The report was carried live on the Office of the Chief Secretary’s Facebook page.

“I am happy to report that this one item has saved us $2.8 million. It was first contracted under the emergency restoration programme to a tune of $3.1 million. I am happy to report that we terminated that contract and awarded a new contract two weeks ago to the tune of $449,000 plus VAT. This is an example of when you carry out your own due diligence you can in fact save money for Tobago.”

In keeping with his party’s decision to do away with large contracts being awarded to selected contractors, James called on small to medium contractors to register with the THA as “work is coming your way.”

He added that while contracts will be awarded for some projects, there has been a rejuvenation in his division where close to 3,000 workers who were once “idling” are now engaged in meaningful work. He used the opportunity to request the needed funding to ensure that the workers, who he said are willing and able, can continue to be employed.

Two of James’ division’s top 12 achievements centred on coastal erosion and the plans to address it.

“One of the things dear to my heart as we move to counter the impact of rising sea levels is we have begun measuring current movement across Trinidad and Tobago beginning at Pigeon Point” he said adding that four radar systems were installed to track the wave current.

James said this is part of the Coastal Zone Management Agency hence the need for collecting data on coastal erosion on the island. He said the radar system is critically important as Lowlands to Crown Point is only four feet above sea level.

“This data collection will become critical for us as we determine the coastal protection structures that might be necessary if we are to protect the limited land space in Tobago.”

Part of the coastal protection will include repair at one of the pools at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort pool area, which James said is on the brink of erosion. Request for proposals to fix that and other projects caused by rising sea levels have been sent out he said.

James said the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) would be re-branded allowing it to be used as was intended. He said the new approach would allow trainees in the programme to acquire a skill and, in so doing, increase their earning potential and then move on.

To drive home his point he showed a picture of ten recent graduates of an irrigation and farming training programme who, he said, can now use their skills to help farmers.

As he congratulated his division for continuously repairing roads and not doing so as election gimmicks, James encouraged all Tobagonians to download the app Show Me a Road Tobago (SMART). The app is only available for android users for now and will soon be accessible to Apple users.

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