Infrastructure secretary hits Nidco: THA under attack

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Infrastructure secretary Trevor James –

Secretary of Infrastructure, Quarries and Urban Development Trevor James said the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) is under attack, as he accused the National Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Nidco) of being disrespectful.

James was critical of Nidco’s handling of the ANR Robinson International Airport expansion project and plans for a marina at Friendship Estate.

On Monday, Nidco posted on Facebook that in collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT), it has applied for a Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) for the establishment of a marina and related marina facilities at Friendship Estate in Canaan, Tobago.

But at Wednesday’s virtual post Executive Council media briefing, James said that no marina will be built at Friendship Estate.

“This act by Nidco contravenes the law simply because there have been no discussions with the THA. Apart from it being disrespectful and out of timing as the young people would say, it contravenes the law.”

He added: “We have to ask ourselves in Tobago: what we want?

“Nidco is a feature of the Ministry of Works, so when I speak to Nidco, we must bear in mind that this is the Ministry of Works in Trinidad that is instructing Nidco to take actions in Tobago without even consultations with the assembly that you voted for in Tobago.”

He called on Tobagonians to be aware of their rights being trampled.

“All of Tobago should take stock. Your assembly is under attack. The rights that you fought for are being eroded and possibly understand that they were being facilitated by the previous administration. This administration would have none of that.”

He said a notice for the expression of interest to build a marina at King’s Bay would soon be issued. He said that King’s Bay is the ideal location for a marina in Tobago.

Additionally, James said the THA will not permit Nidco to block any roads in Tobago connected to the airport project, without proper consultation. Last Friday, access roads to Silk Cotton Trace and Crompston Trace was blocked by the contractor for the ANR Robinson International Airport Expansion project.

“We had to take a decision and remove the blockage and to allow our persons who live there, our residents who live in that area to have complete access and that Nidco must negotiate with them and bring the matter to completion.”

He had this assurance for the residents.

“This executive will not permit Nidco to block that road and I want to ask that Nidco sit with us. We’ve requested a meeting – sit with us and let us negotiate this thing thoroughly.”