Permit me to comment on the issue of the protest action by Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh on the Debe to Mon Desir leg of the highway to Point Fortin. I have watched this protest movement develop by attracting full media coverage. Within recent times, many have joined the bandwagon, particularly comprising persons who do not live in south Trinidad.
During the hunger-strike protest by Dr. Kublalsingh, I have observed his arguments against the construction of the Debe to Mon Desir segment switch frequently. What initially started as an environmental concern for a wetland, has evolved into alleged issues related to the award of the contract.
Now, while agenda of the Highway Re-route Movement and the hunger-strike has evoked a lot of emotions, the facts of the matter seem to have not attracted the same media attention. Firstly, based on the maps of the highway route, it does not appear to be passing through any wetland area. Secondly, the recommendations of the Armstrong Report does not suggest a deviation of the highway’s current route. Thirdly, the Highway Re-route Movement led by Dr. Kublalsingh has lost its appeal in the courts.
All of these aside, have the protesters considered the plight of the citizens who live in south? The reality is that many citizens stand to benefit from an improved transportation network delivered through this highway project. The majority of persons if questioned would support this project. While we can appreciate the concerns of a few, development at this scale has to address the needs of the many.