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Thursday 20 September 2018
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Mark warned in Senate

OPPOSITION Senator Wade Mark incurred the wrath of Senate Vice-President Nigel De Freitas, when he challenged De Freitas’ ruling. The drama unfolded yesterday, while Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan was responding to Mark’s questions about the arrival of the Galleons Passage fast ferry in TT.

Sinanan said the vessel arrived in Cuba on May 26. Prior to this, Sinanan said teams from seller (Sea Transport) and the buyer, the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco) arrived in Cuba, “in order to expedite the shipyard work.”

Sinanan maintained the same position advanced 24 hours earlier by Finance Minister Colm Imbert. He said the seller experienced difficulty in bringing some of the required materials and equipment from Australia, to do its upgrade work on the vessel.

As a result of this, Sinanan said Government, “can wait no longer for the boat to reach here.” Imbert on Wednesday said, “The Government has taken a decision to bring the vessel to Trinidad immediately.” Sinanan said the Galleons Passage will be brought from Cuba, “at the earliest practical opportunity.”

The vessel will be re flagged, the crew familiarised with it and the crew will be type rated. After these steps are taken, Sinanan said the Galleons Passage will be, “put into service.” He explained, “the proposed enhancement would be done on a phased basis while the vessel is in service.” Mark asked Sinanan for the exact date the vessel will arrive in TT.

Sinanan replied, “If I could predict the exact date of things that I don’t have control over, I would not have been here today.” De Freitas disallowed Mark’s questions about whether Government knew Cuba was under embargo and any cost taxpayers incurred while the Galleons Passage was in Cuba.

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