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Monday 23 October 2017
News

Sinanan: I won’t resign over ferry fiasco

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan

SEETA PERSAD

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says he sees no need for him to resign over the ferry fiasco saying the matter is being investigated.

Citizens deserve an explanation, he said, adding he is also awaiting the results of the investigation. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister appointed businessman Christian Mouttet as the sole investigator of the procurement process of the Ocean Flower II and Cabo Star leased from Canada-based Bridgeman’s Service Group. The Port Authority, Integrity Commission and a Joint Select Committee of Parliament are also carrying out their own probes.

Interviewed after a tour of Point Fortin and La Brea yesterday, Sinanan said the investigation centres on the procurement process used by the Port Authority which he said his ministry had no part in.

“This has to do with the Port Authority,” he said. “I am also awaiting the results of this investigation and I don’t see the need to step down at this point.”

Sinanan said trade union leader, NATUC president Michael Annisette is calling for his resignation claiming that as minister he did not sign the charter party agreement to stop the Super Fast Galicia from leaving . “Mr Annisette needs to go back in history and he will realise that the charter party agreement for the Superfast Galicia vessel ended in April of 2016,” Sinanan said pointing out he became Works and Transport Minister in November.

Sinanan said any negotiations to keep the Galicia would have been before April. When he became to the line minister, the problem with the sea bridge already existed and it was then he started to put things into place. He first had to provide a cargo vessel and had asked for three months to solve this issue. At the time two vessels needed to be fixed and one was sent to dry-dock, but there were more problems than was anticipated. “This is why we had to bring in a vessel to solve an interim problem,” he said.

Earlier Sinanan toured the constituencies accompanied by La Brea MP Nicole Olivierre, along with councillors Arlene Ramdeo, Christine Neptune, Maurice Alexander and Shankar Teelucksingh. The minister was taken through the major roads to get a first hand look at the deteriorating road conditions.

The tour began along the S S Erin Road where members of the Siparia Erin Road taxi drivers got the opportunity to highlight their concerns about the poor conditions..

Particular attention was paid to the roads from Quarry Junction to Santa Flora, and from St Cyprian’s Anglican Church to the end of the Los Bajos stretch. The team drove into Palo Seco Beach Road to view the collapsed access road.

The team stopped at Palo Seco Government Primary School to look at the state of drainage in this area. He also visited Erin Beach to examine the coastline.

Sinanan then toured the site of the collapsed road in Coromandel and other areas before going to Point Fortin where he toured Salazar Trace, Parrylands and Vance River. The tour ended at La Brea where the minister again looked at deplorable road conditions. He promised to schedule repairs to the most critical areas in the earliest possible time.

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