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No storage fees paid for occupation of Kay Donna

Saturday, May 26, 2018
Works Minister dismisses claims

No rent is being paid at this time for any storing of material at the Kay Donna compound, says Works Minister Rohan Sinanan who has reiterated he has an interest in that parcel of land which the State intends to acquire for the Curepe interchange.

In Parliament yesterday, Sinanan was questioned by Oppositions MPs on his status and/involvement in the matter of Government’s acquisition of the Kay Donna land for the Curepe Interchange.

He said he would have recused himself from any arrangements.

At Thursday’s post-Cabinet media briefing Sinanan had said he hasn’t benefitted “anything” from Government’s expected acquisition of the land. He said he had declared an interest in the property before and that would have been declared “up front to the Integrity Commission for the last 15 years.”

Finance Minister Colm Imbert, detailing the acquisition process - involving his Ministry’s Valuations unit - assured Sinanan “has absolutely no part to play in this process and if the Minister gets anything at all, it will be based on the Valuation Commissioner’s valuation.”

Yesterday Sinanan said no land has yet been acquired. “But negotiations are ongoing with the relevant parties and State agencies responsible for land acquisition.”

He was asked under what terms and conditions China Railway Construction Ltd had moved on to the Kay Donna compound. Sinanan said negotiations are ongoing “with the relevant parties and permission has been granted for ancillary works.”

Oropouche East MP Roodal Moonilal sought to find out the rent or fees being paid by the Works Ministry or other agencies to Kay Donna owners for storing materials there. He asked if Sinanan is owner or part-owner of the land to be used for the interchange.

Although House Speaker Brigid Annisette-George did not allow the questions, Sinanan subsequently answered, in replying concerning a time-frame for the acquisition.

Sinanan said,”There is no rental being paid at this time for any storing of material at the Kay Donna compound. I do have an interest in the land at Kay Donna and both parties are hoping at the shortest possible time the relevant agencies responsible for completing negotiations will complete it.”

“The Works and Transport Ministry has no role in the acquisition of the lands and I would have recused myself from any such arrangements,” he said.

Sinanan also said the Galleons Passage ferry was not delayed in Panama for five days. He said it was to scheduled to arrive in Cuba last night or early today. He said minor modifications were needed for Panamanian pilots to board the vessel and the cost was minimal.

UNC activist Devant Maharaj, however, said, “As we embark on Indian Arrival Day celebrations, I note the ‘Fatel Razack’ which brought people to T&T from India in three months in 1845 also came from a location across the world. But the ferry’s taking longer to reach T&T in 2018 than the ‘Fatel Razak’ took to reach T&T in 1845.”

Also during yesterday’s session Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh “bouffed” UNC MP Roodal Moonilal following questions on operationalisation of the Couva Hospital.

Deyalsingh declared the People’s Partnership Government neglected the renovation of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital Central Block, repairing labs at San Fernando General Hospital and Mt Hope Hospital and fixing issues in the Food and Drug and other divisions “to build an 80-bed children’s hospital for $1.9b when the Wendy Fitzwilliam Children’s Hospital is only 70 per cent used — we didn’t need another 80-bed children’s hospital.”

“Those other facilities were critical - not a hospital for children in Couva. (With that) you told the people of Diego Martin, Port-of-Spain and other areas, you didn’t care about them. Worse, you opened the hospital two weeks before election in 2015 and closed it the same day — so why you asking me to operationalise it when you closed it.”


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