Princes Town MP Barry Padarath has described yesterday’s opening of the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba as a flop. He said by all accounts including several media reports the facility which boasts about a fifteen thousand person capacity had less than twenty five hundred persons in attendance. He believes this is an indictment on the current People’s National movement administration and illustrated that the majority of the population was unhappy and dissatisfied with the myriad of issues surrounding this facility and they therefore stayed away.
Padarath over the past few weeks has continued to raise issues regarding the safety and structural integrity of the stadium. During the urgent question time in the Parliament last Thursday in answering a question posed by Padarath to Sport Minister Daryl Smith, Smith admitted that the Brian Lara Stadium could not play international matches since it did not have accreditation and clearance from the world governing body for cricket the International Cricket Council.
The Princes Town MP also raised that the facility may not meet the required standards outlined by ICC law and additional costs would have to be incurred to meet ICC compliance. Separate and apart from meeting the necessary International Cricket Council’s approval Padarath also noted that the Brian Lara Stadium had no approval from the Princes Town Regional Corporation as required by law for the facility. The Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba falls under the jurisdiction of the Princes Town Regional Corporation and up to today no application has been made by UDECTOTT or SportTT for the requisite assessments and approvals to be done.
The Princes Town MP indicated that he would be seeking answers through several avenues available to him both inside and outside of the Parliament to find out how much the opening ceremony and match cost the people of Trinidad and Tobago. He said this would now have to be added to the already 1.3 billion dollars spent on the facility that still has engineering questions looming over it.
Padarath has called on the Minister of Sport and the Chairman of UDECOTT to put in the public domain the fourth and fifth sets of independent tests done on the welds of the stadium that refutes the findings of the original 2009 Arun Buch and Gerry MacCaferey reports, which shows that the welds failed two sets of independent tests prior to 2010 as contained in the UFF commission of inquiry report.
The Princes Town MP referred to yesterday’s opening as a disaster of enormous proportions and congratulated the people of Trinidad and Tobago for rejecting the “shed of shame” that has been shrouded in massive amounts of waste corruption and mismanagement but more so because it continues to remain a safety hazard to those attending any events at the facility.