Progressive Democratic Patriots’ deputy leader Farley Augustine says the People’s National Movement-controlled Executive Council is “dysfunctional.”
Augustine made the comment after reading a story carried in Tobago Today’s October 23 issue on a crucial construction roadway project undertaken by the Tobago House of Assembly’s Settlement Division.
The story noted that the project was criticised by the THA’s Infrastructure Division–the designated entity responsible for major road construction in Tobago.
The vehicular lay-by at Milford Court, Canaan, is being constructed on the main road from the ANR Robinson International Airport, Crown Point, without approved infrastructure works and plans.
The Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment is taking the Division of Settlements, Urban Renewal and Public Utilities to task over the construction which will cost taxpayers over $400,000.
Infrastructure Division administrator Richie Toppin has warned that his division will not accept liability for the work being done, as traffic flow and flooding issues will occur because expected pre-planning was not done or implemented before the project was started.
“The division will not be held responsible for any fallout as it relates to traffic flows and flooding that occurs as a result of your Division’s neglected and/or failure to address the above concerns as listed,” he said.
Commenting on the story, Augustine asked whether Secretaries of all nine THA divisions sat at Executive Council meetings to discuss matters affecting Tobago.
“(Don’t) the Secretaries for these two Divisions sit together with their colleagues weekly? Why is the division with responsibility for Settlements engaging in a major road infrastructure project?” he asked.
He added: “The Division of Settlements has not built a single new home in 4 years but they have resources for a lay-by?
He questioned the role of the Town and Country Planning Division in the issue and pointed out that the area already suffers from poor drainage and traffic congestion.
“Now we have a misguided division in a mad rush to just do something after four years of unproductivity,” Augustine said.
“The Executive Council is dysfunctional.
“If the Executive of the THA was working, divisions would not be working in silos. There should be cohesion within the THA’s executive. This is an indictment on the THA. Tobagonians deserve better than this.”