Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles yesterday described the return of the TT Spirit to the sea bridge as a breakthrough moment for Tobago.
Speaking during the arrival of the vessel at the Scarborough Port, last evening, after being under repair for nine months, Charles said the moment was also a light at the end of the tunnel for Tobago’s economic issues.
“This day brings with it a wave of relief and at the same time anticipation. Relief that we have a passenger ferry once again and an anticipation that will take place as we resume to a level of normalcy on the sea bridge.” The return of a reliable vessel on the sea bridge marks the end of the ferry woes on the sea bridge and restores the ease when travelling on the air bridge, Charles said.
“The journey requires more than patience from the customers and stakeholders of the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, the Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan where many times I felt his pain. This journey required more than hope as the wait for a working passenger vessel for the inter-island route required a kind of forbear,” Charles added.
Charles said Tobago will soon have the authority to make decisions concerning the sea bridge adding that Tobago is at greater risk should the sea bridge collapse again. Charles called on those with the responsibility to manage the sea bridge service and maintain the newly repaired vessel to do what is required by ensuring the efficiency and reliability of the inter-island operations remains satisfactory. He reminded the public to refrain from defacing the vessel’s property.
Sinanan, who was in Scarborough, vowed there will not be a repeat collapse of the inter-island transportation service.
“We are seriously looking to how long we are going to keep vessels and how long we are going to keep repairing them before we replace them. The Tobago people must have a bigger say in the operations of the sea bridge,” Sinanan said. He said the T&T Express will not take as long as those carried out on the TT Spirit, and the ministry is working to have three passenger vessels on the sea bridge.