Moonilal slams Skinner Park $$$ wastage

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

MP Oropouche East Roodal Moonilal – Photo by Jeff k Mayers

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal has criticised the expenditure of $147 million on the refurbishment of Skinner Park, San Fernando.

He said it was a “wasteful allocation of funds.”

On Sunday, Moonilal took issue with Udecott chairman Noel Garcia’s assertion that the football field was never intended for international games but rather designed to be a space for a blend of cultural and sporting activities.

Moonilal said the rearranging of the field and other facilities made no sense. He said it just made everything smaller. Moonilal provided a satellite photo that illustrated the field’s altered parameters.

“All the bills are not in, they are still coming to Parliament asking for more money to pay for the Skinner Park project. Skinner Park is a legacy; it is an iconic recreation centre for the people of south, it has hosted international football matches.”

Moonilal said Skinner Park was now only certified to host under-15 and over-65 players. “Udecott has made a mess out of Skinner Park..This is the first time the south zone intercol was not held at Skinner Park.”

He called for an investigation into the money spent on the refurbishment. Moonilal said at the venue’s February opening, the restroom was not working.

At the handing-over ceremony, Garcia defended the reduced size of the field, saying it met international standards and accommodated about 15,000 people, and it fulfilled the requirements for secondary school and national football leagues.

Garcia said Skinner Park was always intended for secondary schools’ football and local games and not international games. He said there were five other stadiums: Hasely Crawford, Ato Boldon, Larry Gomes, Manny Ramjohn and Dwight Yorke for intentional sporting events.

Shifting gears, Moonilal spoke of Monday’s opening of the Ramai Trace Hindu primary school in Debe.

“The school will be opened after eight years. This will benefit the children,” he said, promising to address any matter regarding the school in Parliament.