Insane construction costs

THE EDITOR: Can TT survive another term of either the PNM or UNC in service to the citizens of this country?

The Prime Minister, in his message to citizens earlier this year, outlined many projects where one could be led to believe that the People’s Partnership government wasted billions of dollars on projects that brought minimal value to the country. He further indicated in the Parliament that the waste-water project in Sea Lots was one where there were questionable practices that might have cost our nation millions of dollars.

The Maracas Beach project cost over 100 million tax payers dollars for constructing units that, at best, cost only a few million dollars.

It is common in the construction industry for a luxury house with swimming pool and some of the most modern and expensive finishes, to cost about ten million dollars each. In government, ten million dollars cannot pay for a six- to eight-foot-wide concrete path over a 300-foot roadway or a simple concrete structure on the Maracas beach. The Minister of works was on television on Friday speaking about a drainage project in south Port of Spain. The reporter indicated that the project cost $9 million and would rise to $40 million after the pumps were procured and installed. That is just over $30 million in pumps.

Given that the best of these storm water pumps cost around US$10,000 or $70,000 it is difficult to see how the pumps for the project would cost $30 million. Even if one were to charge five times the cost, one pump will cost less than $.5 million.

Recently, toilets for upgrading our prison system that should cost about $10 million were estimated to cost $50 million. While we accept these insane prices, we continue to vote for politicians that support this exploitation of our treasury. We are bombarded with citizens literally begging for water distribution in their community, a Police Service in need of crime fighting equipment, hospitals without beds and schools in such a state of disrepair that our children are forced to stay at home. Our sporting community has outdated or, in some cases, no facilities to encourage our youths to pursue sporting activities. Against that background, we see contractors who access government contracts, rise from average citizens to suddenly acquire multimillion-dollar properties, purchase luxury cars and boats and purchase luxury apartments in foreign countries.

That culture of wastage of our tax dollars can only change if the people of TT garner the political will to end the support of these two major political parties that thrive on our racial divisiveness to gain political power and enrich the few. The insanity must end.

God Bless Our Nation.

Steve Alvarez

Political leader

Democratic Party of TT

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