Minority Councillor in the THA, Dr Faith B Yisrael, is reiterating a call for greater involvement by Tobagonians in the inter-island transport system as a frustrated Tobago populace continue to grapple with continued cancellations of the passenger ferry, the T&T Express, and the cargo ferry, the Cabo Star.
From last Friday till Tuesday, the T&T Express was out of service to facilitate repairs, while the Cabo Star was down for service on Saturday and Sunday, according to the TT Inter-Island Transportation Company (TTIT).
Speaking on behalf of the Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP), Yisrael told Newsday Tobago:
“The lives of Tobagonians have been completely disrupted because of the failure of the inter-island ferry system. It is sad that even to date, the PNM-led Executive Council does not see that it must take greater responsibility for the operations - for the
procurement, for everything as it relates to the inter-island transport system because it affects Tobago greater than it affects Trinidad,” she said.
“You would think that with a PNM Tobago House of Assembly and a PNM central government that it would have been an easy fix,” she added.
Political leader of the Tobago Forwards, Christlyn Moore, said continuous cancellations of sailings of the inter-island ferries were “heart-breaking for Tobagonians”.
“The situation has been moved beyond anger and anguish, we have moved from complaining to a sense of having been abandoned by the Tobago House of Assembly (THA), by the central government, by the Minister of Tourism and the Minister of Transportation.
“The situation has cemented in the minds of the average Tobagonians … it has shown us quite clearly the lack of urgency that the situation merits,” said Moore.
Noting that the inter-island transport problem was more than a year old, she lamented its continued deterioration.
“This is a situation that developed before the floods in Trinidad, it is a situation that developed and has been crystallised over a year ago and it continues to deteriorate. We are dying but you know what, central government, THA, the line ministers, none of them has given us as much as an aspirin.
“That is where Tobago is, we are despondent, we are defeated, and we are abandoned,” said Moore.