Following several media reports on the landslip at La Fortune Pluck Road/Santa Cecelia Trace, the Ministry of Works and Transport (MOWT) would like to take this opportunity to clarify some critical matters as it relates to the progress of this project.
Earlier this year, the Ministry implemented its national Landslip Repair Programme which identified thirty-three (33) landslips to be repaired (Phase 2A). One project under this programme was the La Fortune Pluck Road/Santa Cecelia Trace landslip.
At this project site, it was observed that a building adjacent to the landslip appeared to be in a structurally dilapidated /ruinous state that may be unfit for use or occupation or dangerous to the inhabitants of the property. As such, on January 13th and May 25th 2022, out of an abundance of caution, the Ministry of Works and Transport sought the assistance of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government (MRDLG), through the Municipal Corporations Act Chap 25:04, to treat with the dilapidated structure prior to the commencement of any repair works.
To date, the Ministry is still awaiting a response on this matter from the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government. Concurrent with these activities, the Ministry continued the Tender Process for construction and repair works, while obtaining the necessary funding for the implementation of the project. It was envisaged that while the Ministry carried out the necessary procurement process, the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government would have undertaken the necessary administrative matters in accordance with the Municipal Corporations Act Chap 25:04.
On 18th May 2022, Senator the Honourable Rohan Sinanan, Minister of Works and Transport accompanied by Directors of the Ministry’s Highways Division, Bridges, Landslips and Traffic Management Unit and representatives of the National Infrastructure Development Company Limited (NIDCO) visited the La Fortune Pluck Road and San Francique area. This visit was in an effort to examine the possible constraints to construction works that may be posed by the dilapidated/ruinous structure. To date, the Ministry through NIDCO, its implementation agency, has given the approval to proceed with the award of a contract for this project. On May 25th 2022, NIDCO issued the award of contract letter to the recommended contractor in the amount of sixteen million one hundred and eighty-one thousand, six hundred and thirteen dollars and thirty-six cents ($16,181,613.36).
Given all of the above, and in the absence of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government dealing with the ruinous structure and the high possibility that the structure may undergo further deterioration or even collapse and cause possible injury to inhabitants, the Ministry may be now forced to reconsider the scheduled start-up of construction works until this matter has been resolved.
The Member of Parliament Davendranath Tancoo is very much aware of the above issues, however, he continues to use the plight of the commuting public for political mileage. The Ministry of Works and Transport will continue to be guided by the laws of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and will execute all projects in the best interest of the people.