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Kublalsingh: Talks with highway review committee cordial

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dr Wayne Kublalsingh and members of the Highway Re-route Movement met for several hours yesterday with an independent review committee headed by Dr James Armstrong. The meeting is expected to be the last of Kublalsingh’s presentations to the committee.


Kublalsingh, who went on a 21-day hunger strike which began on November 16 last year in a bid to force Government’s hand to stop the proposed Mon Desir to Debe segment of the Point Fortin highway had described the project as an “atrocity” and “shameless”.


The committee was formed in early December by the Joint Consultative Council (JCC) and other groups. Kublalsingh said the meeting was the third he had with the committee and it was expected to be the closure of discussions with the committee’s experts.


Before attending yesterday’s meeting which began at 5 pm, Kublalsingh said he was going to present his final report which dealt with social impact, legal and economic aspects of the projects and effects of health and well-being. He said on Friday, the HRM’s experts met for seven hours with the committee to discuss both social and economic impact of the project.


Describing discussions as fruitful and cordial, Kublalsingh said the committee’s deadline would be in the first week of February. “We have been steadily submitting several documents and reports to the committee and a report would be made available to the public once everything is completed.”


The review committee, which was given 60 days to provide an independent review of the Debe to Mon Desir segment of the San Fernando to Point Fortin Highway included a representative from the environmental, transportation, hydrology/drainage, social economic, archaeology, planning and settlements, economic analysis, highway engineering and property valuation disciplines.


On the progress of his recovery Kublalsingh said his legs were still very weak as he had lost a lot of muscle during the strike. “I am trying to recover as best as I can and to regain my strength. I have also been doing exercises specifically to regain strength in my legs because I am still not walking properly. “It’s a slow process which will take some time.”


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