Letter to the EMA – Re: The Rapid Rail System

By Stephen Kangal
December 17, 2006

Rapid RailRe: Mandatory Conduct of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Prior to the Award of a Certificate of Environmental Certificate (CEC) for the Design, Build, Operate and Manage (DBOM) Contract for the Establishment of the Rapid Rail System (RRS) by the Ministry of Works and Transport

I have the honour to bring to the attention of the EMA that it must insist that the Ministry of Works and Transport should apply to the Authority for the issue of the appropriate Certificate of Environmental Clearance prior to the award of an international tender to establish the proposed billion dollar 120km Rapid Rail System (RRS) from Diego Martin to Sangre Grande and from POS to San Fernando.

I wish to note that the said Ministry of Works has been requested by the EMA to undertake consultations with the stakeholders on the extension of the Churchill Roosevelt Highway eastwards to Manzanilla as well as the proposed extension of the Solomon Hochoy Highway to Point Fortin prior to the award of the requisite Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC). The RRS involves greater potential negative social, public health, environmental and noise pollution impact than the above-mentioned Highway extensions.

This proposed new rail transport facility will during the building and operational stages have the following adverse impact on both the physical, ambient and human (public health) environment:

  • Increased noise and dust pollution during the construction stage arising from the drilling by noisy machines of the roadway to embed the rails in the asphalt surfaces of the PBR;
  • Potential damage/danger to the eyes of residents from the massive and widespread amount of welding procedures and the emission of noxious gases associated with welding.
  • Residents living in the vicinity of the RRS will be deprived of their right to the quiet enjoyment of their property especially at nights and early in the morning from the rattle of trains;
  • Trains travelling at speeds in excess of 80 mph with long carriages will increase the level of dust pollution in the ambient environment. Dust and Sahara dust pollution are already a serious growing health risk in T&T resulting in the increasing incidence of asthmatic complaints across T&T;
  • This RRS will pose a serious risk to the health and safety of persons/passengers in the immediate vicinity of the railway track and other road systems;
  • The price of real estate located in the vicinity of the RRS will deteriorate to the financial detriment of the owners.
  • Building an RRS in the immediate vicinity of large gas lines is a major pollution risk and a challenge to the safety of passengers.
  • Increased carbon monoxide emissions owing to greater traffic congestion resulting from the two year closure of the PBR.

Accordingly I wish to recommend that having regard to its mandate to act with consistency to protect the health of citizens, the EMA should inform the said Ministry immediately of its obvious compulsory obligations relating to the submission of an application for the conduct of a CEC prior to the award of the well -advertised tender.

The Ministry must also apply to the EMA for the terms of reference for the conduct of the requisite EIA.

A copy of a newspaper article that I wrote on the above-mentioned considerations that was published in the Newsday and Mirror of 17 and 26 November 2006 respectively is enclosed for your information.

Yours sincerely
Stephen Kangal

http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/kangal/171206.html

35 Responses to “Letter to the EMA – Re: The Rapid Rail System”


  • Some of the concerns raised here have no basis.

    Any major construction project needs EMA clearance.

    BUT….

    Would the average citizen be willing to put up with 2 years of noise during the day to a 10 – 20 min commute along the E-W Corridor?

    People’s eyes can easily be protected by the use of a welding shed. This is portable and encloses the area being welded so passersby do not see the light of the welding rods. The gases produced during welding will not harm anyone within a 10,000 square foot circle i.e. ~50 feet away. It the wind is blowing, then the circe becomes on oval. Very little welding takes place in relation to the overall constructon anyways. Rail is fastened to sleepers.

    I don’t know if Mr. Kangal has ever ridden a LRT or RR but they do not “rattle” like freight trains. You hear the air being pushed aside as the rush past. They are actually quieter than the buses we have in Trinidad. If the lubricant used on the wheels if inferior, then you will hear a squeak when the train rounds a corner.

    Dust pollution from the trains is the most ludicris point here. The train runs on a rail. The very shape of the rail doesn’t allow much to settle on it. As long as there is pavement or gravel below and to the side of the tracks, then there is no dust. Any dust they kick up would be dust in the atmosphere that was already there to start with…the train isn’t going to manufacture dust. I’m sure the buses and illegal cars on the bus route raise more dust and give off more fumes than a train ever can.

    The 5th point doesn’t is more a statement than a point…no backing or reason so I will not even bother to counter.

    Do you even know where the gas lines in Trinidad are routed? So you know that you drive over gas lines on the highways and roads and don’t even know it? In temperate countries, gas lines run into people’s homes. This is yet another invalid point. Any construction that goes on near a gas line, NGC and/or Petrotrin will always have personal on site when anything goes on around them and that is one thing NGC and Petrotrin do not take lightly.

    There will be minimal increase in carbon monoxide emmision because people are no longer using the bus route for 2 years. It’s still the same number or vehicles on the roads, whether they’re on the PBR or the Highway and Main Rd. The time in traffic will increase and cause more fuel to be used and thus more exhaust fumes but it’s not going to be so much more that it’s going to affect the entire eco-system any differently that how it’s messing it up now. And in the end, the RRS or LRT will be a much cleaner means of transport for the environment.

    I have lived in several cities with mass transit systems and they are very efficient and cut commuting times by as much as 600% in come cases. In some cities, the value of properties near train stops increase because it means people can walk to a stop and go anywhere without ever using their cars.

    A problem I see with a LRT in Trinidad is that you need support transit for the train. When a few hundred people get off at CityGate, and they want to get to work in St James, Maraval or Woodbrok, then how are they getting there? You need to have busses to pick up the people that get off otherwise, people will not choose the LRT or RR as a commuting option.

    This is actually the first project the present gov’t is persuing that will directly benefit the people of Trinidad. But we are so accustomed to complaining about what the gov’t does, we want to complain about this as well.

    Transparancy is needed as always and that is what Trinis should be fighting for. Not to disband the idea of a Rail system. And one last point, a rail system is no the solve-all panacea for the traffic problems in Trinidad. It’s one of the things needed along with a reliable PTSC, wider roads with car-pool lanes, better road design and city layout and decentralization of certain services and offices.

  • Hey there, well said Riaz. I’m tired of hearing the complaints and negative comments toward the RRS but people fail to realise the benifits that this system will bring. While reading the initial article, I too saw a lot of invalid points. I’m all for the RRS and totally agree that there must have some PTSC service operating from that main hub to environs or a lot of passengers will reach POS or San Fernando fast but will waste time saved trying to deal with the other hundreds already waiting to leave that transit point…

    Just putting a little word in.

    Sherlon.

  • People should realise that Colm and his gang don’t know what they are doing. Today I read that they dropped the estimate to 6.8 Billion from 15 Billion. What a drastic drop! The reason given is that they used the Europen estimate but saw that similar rails were built in China and India at a quater the price so they “went with the middle ground.”

    This tells me that they are just guessing and no real feasibility study has been done. This is what APET is fighting for but the Ministry of Transport is making these men and woman appear to be anti-Rail. Colm, listen to the engineers.

  • Colm Imbert is clueless when it comes to mass transit, sad to say. Water taxis from Point Fortin to Diego Martin. where are the boats going to pass? Up the narrow Diego river? The new trend in commuter transport worldwide is Bus Rapid Transit which makes use of such innovations as:
    Low floor & Low entry buses.
    Air conditioned Bi articulated buses.
    Bus controlled signal priority at traffic lights.
    Separate Bus Lanes & Guided Bus Ways.

  • The RRS has a whole lot more in it for us as a country.

    The problems can be recorded in history as the price of progress.

    I support it.

  • franklin jeremiah !!!!it will pass through the gulf of paria not a river. it is just an indication of the area in which will benefit from this.

  • Franklyn jeremiah

    Previously we heard about subway, rail, monorail, light rail, and now rapid rail. Which is it going to be? Will the Government eventually make up its mind? Certainly Rapid Rail is not for us. Rapid Rail internationally is used for long distance runs with few stops. The latest trend internationally is bus rapid transit which is cheaper, faster and easier to implement.

  • I support the move 100%.It will put Trinidad and Tobago on the world map of global development as we move closer to vision 2020,making it better for tomorrows children.

  • Franklyn Jeremiah

    Almost 2 years later and the Water Taxis are yet to become a reality. I can’t wait to see what becomes of the rapid rail.

  • To Everyone that approves, do you know the impact this rail is going to have on the people of central Trinidad. People who build their homes piece by piece has to have it torn down. An entire village is gone…

  • What’s your point Anthony George, and why not try and get with the program like the rest of the modern world? As a 18 year old I worked on the Seeram Brothers controlled , expensive, Priority Bus Route between San Juan and ,Mt Lambert. Do you and others still wonder about the folks that were displaced along the route from the Beetham to Arima,when you are speeding along in your expensive Mercedes , Lexus , and Range Rovers ?
    Have no fear ,the people would be well compensated , and can either use the monies to construct new homes in the ‘pristine, safe enclaves,’ of John , John, Lavantille, Mt Dor Road, Carange , or Upper St Babbs Gonzales ,where ex slave dwellers raised families to be leading citizens .
    Others can follow the lead of patriotic nationals ,and run for distant European or North American shores , where changes are slow in coming.I am absolutely certain all the folks from the states across both continents, are less well off as a result of the construction of railways.
    Of course I am being facetious with that last remarks , but what next my friend, turn all our bank tellers, insurance agents ,and credit union executives , into beggars and, ‘scrunting’ haberdashery sales people on George Street , or Chaguanas market ,simply because crooks and bandits made some loose faith in our financial institutions?
    You could begin to save your monies under your bed George , so as to make it easier for the Central robbers, and Barataria robbers , but some of us say hooray for changes , development, and expansion ,especially while we are stuck in traffic on the highways en route to work- in unarguably the richest English speaking country in the region.
    Wake up and smell the steel rail lines , and encourage any possible aspiring , national political leaders, to pick fights carefully ,particularly on this political fireball , if they desire one day to change the drapes in the PM mansion as well.
    I stand corrected.

    • I expected a more reasoned comment from Neal on this topic. Perhaps Neal could tell us how the proposed Rapid Rail System (RRS) could be operated without a subsidy and the published location of any environmental impact studies or any feasibility studies related to the RRS. As I read through some of the posted messages, I am beginning to realise that some highly educated Trinbagonians do not look at the big picture, cannot connect the dots, or think analytically when looking at serious issues that affect this nation. Their postings clearly demonstrate that some people could be highly educated and not possess critical thinking skills. This could help explain why we continue to have the high level of incompetence within the government year after year. There is much truth in the old maxim that states ‘common sense comes before book sense.’ An individual with the ability to think critically and analytically may ask the following questions:

      How in good conscience could the PNM propose a RRS when basic services such as healthcare, reliable water distribution, programmes for the socially displaced, education and road repair are underfunded?

      Has the government informed taxpayers about the annual operational cost of this proposed RRS system?

      Has any feasibility and environmental impact studies been completed and published?

      Where would the subsidy to operate the RRS come from?

      I am unaware of an RRS system anywhere in the world that does not require subventions from the state or local authorities. The construction cost of the RRS is estimated to run between $50 million/km to $100 million/km. The cost per/km would depend on factors such as elevated rail, underground rail, soil conditions and weather.

      I was told that at a one-way fare of $5, the proposed RRS would have to have an annual subsidy of 50% or greater; at $20 per one-way fare, the subsidy would still be about 50% or greater; at $40 per one-way fare, the subsidy would be about 85%, which raises serious concerns about the viability of the RRS. There are many reasons why the system would have to be heavily subsidised. A proper feasibility study would raise many questions concerning the viability of the RRS. The following facts are worth serious consideration:

      There are many vehicles on the roads of this country, which makes the ratio of vehicles/sq km one of the highest in the Caribbean, if not the Western Hemisphere.

      Many people will not give up their private cars to ride the RRS because of crime and other reasons.

      The average person who commutes via public transportation cannot afford to pay $50/day in transportation cost.

      There is no perfect solution to the transportation issues facing this country. Much of the transportation mess that we are in could be traced to the shortsightedness and poor transportation planning on the part of PNM politicians over the last few decades. A sensible, efficient, less costly and more rational solution would involve a system of local bus routes, local PTSC hubs with space for many buses and cars, more express and non-express bus routes between major locations, and a reduction on the subsidy that government provides for every litre of gasoline. Small 20-seat buses could be used on the local routes.

      Putting the country on the map is not a valid reason for the proposed RRS. A Rapid Rail System is very expensive to operate and maintain. Moreover, Rapid Rail Systems do not generate revenue. The question remains, could this country afford the RRS given the fact that many government operations are grossly underfunded and mismanaged? Let us hope that the next government puts a stop to the recklessness of the PNM government.

  • Perhaps the rail lines could be elevated in some areas. More efficient modes of transportation are a part of smart growth and can contribute to the quality of life for thousands of citizens.

  • Are you sure that we would not be better off reverting to the donkey cart Curtis? Yes we might remove 15,000 or more car per day from commuting back and forth between to POS and other regions , but think of the destruction to our environment from all the smog that could emanate from rails .Now instead of drunken , callous vehicle operators , we would have to contend with incompetent rail car drivers and services.
    My aunt in Carapichima said that she is missing a bottom in her face via one of our Maxi taxi already.
    Some sly blogger is attempting to take food out of the mouth of our world famous comedians Tommy Joseph , Spranalang , and Fabian. Tell them that I for one ain’t biting into their lackluster enthusiasm jig and dance performance.
    Away with the rail lines , when absentee , migrating farmers ‘com- entrepreneurs,’ need their lands to construct warehouses to sell cheap goods to desperate Trini citizens.

  • Neal- I think that the rail system needs to be properly planed. As far as smog is concerned, it could be magnetic or electric as in parts of Europe or Japan. Why not build it alongside or above existing road sides or highways in parts of the country? All that it takes is a few responsible sober operators. There would be fewer chances for irresponsible drunk drivers to crash into innocent civilians. A reliable and properly planned Mass Transit system could and would raise accountability and cut crime as well as increase mobility for the entire population especially, women, children, and the elderly. For every acre of land lost, there is upside for thousands of citizens. The people need to be compensated properly for their loss. I don’t think that the heartland of the country should be sliced and diced, but the country has to modernize so it might as well be well planned with the purpose of serving the people. Also, it may provide a way for members of communities furthest from Port of Spain to earn a income in Port of Spain, but reside outside of POS.
    Operators should be well trained professionals, and be held to a higher standard. People who obtain this position should know there is a zero tolerance policy with serious consequences for violating procedure, and substance abuse policies that would surely be put in place.
    I am having a difficult time understanding why anyone would not want this other than if it is not planned properly.
    It can be done and it can be done right as long as it is for the people rather than political posturing and wealth redistribution. Accountability and planning is the key.
    Don’t you have faith in your country? Never mind, two million dollar flag and pole says it all. Then again, we must pres on for transparency, inclusiveness, and accountability for projects that are supposed to serve the people.
    I believe in TNT. Please don’t let me down elected officials.
    Happy Valentines Day to all and Zhu Chunjie Kuaile!

  • This is simply me attempting to get my script flipping , nuance , chess play writing, grove on Curtis.We are both on the same page my good friend as far as this proposed railway service , as I too fervently believe that the benefits far out way the negatives, if properly developed and administered.
    Think of the possibilities in terms of a stimulant to our economy laden with high unemployment , unless this out of control PNM government decided to import 50,000 more Chinese ,Cubans , Nigerians , Filipinos , and Brits just like they did for our lackluster health and security department.
    I like your suggestion of building same “alongside or above existing road sides or highways in parts of the country.” The obvious added advantage of that is to prevent the further displacement, and possible -as feared -inconvenience of some citizens .
    In addition, this should not be limited to folks in Central , but eventually spread toward the East , South, and even Western areas. I would like to see the implementation of toll boots along our highways , as this can help discourage congestions as drivers would see it more in their interest to park and ride, like the big boys and gals do in the more industrialized world . While we are at it , perhaps it’s time to begin a follow up on long delayed talks to build a bridge between Toco and Tobago , This would certainly serve as a first step to truly linking the two islands ,as opposed to the almost diabolical, and economically imbalanced charade that existed for too long under our past five post colonial Prime Ministers.
    Additionally , it would lower all cost for Tobagonians , and even enhance security, as cameras / big brother, can be placed at strategic locations to ensure that criminal elements are not using both islands to conceal their unwholesome activities . However Curtis ,due to my exuberance , I am getting a bit carried away with myself here , agreed? That will come into fruition in 2090 , when our great, great , great grand children have come of age.
    I too am at a loss as to why ” anyone would not want this other than if it is not planned properly,” and accountability is the watchword.
    I am for any leader that support real change , as opposed to the ones who oppose simply for the sake of opposition , without al;so putting in place a policy that would encourage job creation , and full development of all our people. Don’t we all hate political panderers , Curtis? Let’s wish them well , in the next few day of love, joy and happiness.

    • I would recommend that because of the size of Tobago that there not be a bridge built to connect the two islands unless it is specifically for high-speed railway. I would say that our shared exuberance is symbolic for or passionate dreams for a well developed and modernized nation. Today’s dreams and visions are tomorrows’ possibilities and realities. The ideals and conversation must start now.
      I would like to echo that thought of imported labor. All new jobs should be for homegrown talent.

    • Why did you not do this in the first instance, instead of (Are you sure that we would not be better off reverting to the donkey cart Curtis?) then back to (This is simply me attempting to get my script flipping , nuance , chess play writing, grove on Curtis.We are both on the same page my good friend as far as this proposed railway service). Why must you alwys have to be so sacarstic and insulting to get your point accross. Just deal wiht the issues and make your points. Damn!!!!!!!!!

  • Curtis the size of Tobago is totally irrelevant my friend. It is either a serious call for secession , or this time to throw the people bone. Tobagonians since 1962 are forced to bear a higher cost for all items that must be first imported into Trinidad then transported to Tobago on overcrowded river boats , hence thew reasons for the suggestion for a bridge. It is not only you but T-Man and Uncle Kengal that believes the island should remain as it is – just another insignificant neglected county that is only useful for the occasional vacation escapades.
    I just wish one of them could get a belly pain in the island and have to go to the single hospital that was constructed on the island since 1825 , or have to wait in long lines to get a flight to POS ,to take out an appendix in one of the fifty hospital that was constructed over time.
    At the same time Barbados might be 20 miles bigger ,with , no resources, and can still rival Trinidad and Tobago in terms of the state of her economy – go figure.

    • Neal, the suggestion of a bridge for rail use only is so that Tobago wouldn’t become one big parking lot. The rail could be used for commercial purposes as well as commuters. A high speed train would probably eradicate the disparity in price for products imported into Trinidad and then transported to Tobago on “overcrowded river boats”.
      With smart development and efficient modes of transportation, Trinidad AND Tobago could be greatly improved. Agribusiness must also be further developed and improved. That is why the eastern portion of TNT should remain country.
      Barbados can rival TNT because there isn’t an agreement on plans to improve quality of life in Trinidad and Tobago for by all or the majority of the people for all or the majority of the people.
      TNT is loaded with potential even during this global recession. The sad thing is that some would rather sell their country out when they should be leading it to a future of less crime, higher standard of living, and more economic prosperity per family.
      Just thinking about what can be, reality, and what will probably happen makes me want to reach for a Stag out of frustration.

  • Save me these lofty business as usual UNC party , cry baby, political talking points Curtis, as they’ll get us no where any time soon. Again you are not the only one that fails to appreciate the need to place some emphasis on Tobago development , due to myopic thinking.If Tobago continues to lag behind Trinidad then it will forever remains a humongous economic burden.
    How the hell do you expect to see agreement on a plan to develop the entire country like Barbados for example when the folks in Central and other Indian enclaves believes that their constituents deserves greater social and economic prioritization than others simply because of a racial make up ?
    Go enjoy your drunken stag binge , and leave the serious discussion to folks who prefer to use their God given grey matters , and care.
    You , Panday , Kamela, Mr.K,Uncle Shah , and T-Man the nut , should continue doing what you do best- preaching to the converted , and see where it gets you politically.
    In the mean time the rest of the Caribbean will continue to laugh at our stupidity as a people, and nation, whose only happiness lies in when we are mimicking a foreigner,attempting to be a global savior , gyrating to some tasteless culturally deficient music , and pretending that we are on the verge of being a major economic or political player like resourceless Jamaica or Barbados.
    Be forewarned however, our selfish ,misguided good fellows,for in the words of granny the great one ,” the longest rope has an end.”

    • Why would you think that the economy of Trinidad and Tobago must be monolithic in nature? The most TNT has the potential to recognize other sectors as they economically move to be parallel with the natural gas, oil, and pitch sectors of the country.
      All western countries have their fair share of ethnocentrism that not even government planning can eradicate. However, that should not be a deterrent to the welfare of the majority of people in the country who want a better life.
      Agri-business is big business in most industrialized countries. Why can’t it be in TNT?
      Tobago doesn’t have to lag behind Trinidad, but its development doesn’t have to mirror that of Trinidad to be an economically viable island.
      If my comments were UNC talking points, then the UNC has one heck of a plan. The PNM has one heck of a video production. We are on the verge of misery if we subscribe to your ideology concerning the future of the country. Lately, all that I have heard from you is negativity as if you are miserable in New York somewhere. What is it about a different plan of development for Tobago that make you think that it will always lag behind Trinidad?
      Furthermore, why do you believe that only your opinion is valid? With you (Neal), it always seems like something can’t be done or achieved because of some very weak reason. Anything thought of can be achieved, but the probability of achievement is something completely different.

  • So now I am characterized as a self opinionated , miserable New Yorker ,accused of pushing a monolithic economy, as well as being an anti multiculturalist ,in our interethnic society, simply because I suggest that the ‘me me , geme, geme , selfish , dog with a bone folks,’ that dominate most of Trinidad, should support the unwelcome ,foreign notion ,of throwing a bone for the folks of perennially neglected Tobago so that they too could finally hold their heads high with dignity , as opposed to remaining forever dependent on the ‘caring God fearing tribes,’ in big brother Trinidad. What lunacy!
    First we had Eric Williams the pompous , elitist ,egomaniac ,so called Father of the Nation, that choose to punish the island at every turn ,due to some petty squabble he had with then young ANR Robinson ,or any of the other leaders that emerged from the sister isle, that had the temerity to stand up to his follies , or were not prepared to continually keep their faces up his rear end for life.
    At the same time,tribal crooks like John O’Hollaran, Kamaludin Mohammed , and Errol Mahabir were allowed to do whatsoever they desired for themselves ,and kinds within their respective enclaves , as this ensured PNM domination.
    Not surprisingly ,his idea deficient , nepotistic ,simi dictatorial clone Manning , has continued a similar neglectful policy towards the 116 square miles island,the moment he was elevated from his position as a lowly Parliamentary Secretary to party leader and PM, thus putting a smile on the faces of San Fernando East/ West stooges , Central , and most of short sighted Trinidad.
    In the mean time, without Tobago’s two allegedly insignificant seats ,ULF led by uncle Panday along with his two racist ,man rats side kicks Trevor Sudama , and Ramnath, as well as closet Grenadian Karl Hudson Phillip , would have never had a chance to topple the mighty PNM when they did in 86.
    How did these jokers and mutineers reward that support ? By undermining , and cutting out his political legs , thus making real governance almost an impossibility due to backward childish destabilization pranks ,that is well documented for the benefit of even the sometimes naive, or deceptive Curtis.
    Most importantly, they riled against the construction of his pet projects of a deep water harbor , and long delayed were e Crown Point airport expansion, then got into bed with a two bit former horse police com religious coup leader ,in efforts to humiliate , then eventually topple our country’s first Tobagonian leader. Imagine if you will ,the fallout of perhaps WW111 ,if that was done during the reign of the country first Indian PM in 1995.
    In the mean time this fraud Curtis is attempting to lecture to me about diversified economy in areas such as agri business and other sectors that can make us less dependent on pitch , oil , and gas. What happened to your glorified steel mill, the doctor baby? How many houses were built , when Shah and Panday shouted ” houses before horses!”
    Who does this neo -tribalist think he is talking to, and why does he think that not only Tobagonians, but 99.9 % of the Caribbean holds Trinidadians in such utter contempt , even as she tries to bribe her ways into their collective hearts with , occasional grandiose ,empty gestures, and pittances? The former hatred is due to the fact that they know that the lofty Caribbean unity spending displays ,and political prostitutions, are made at their expense, while the latter knows fully well that irrespective of who is charge of the government ,the suspect motives are clothed in shoals of twisted immoral self serving , uncaring logic ,aimed at tribal national electioneering domination on both sides of the divide.
    Listen curtis , I suggest you leave grown folks business alone, as this is way over your simplistic head . Stick instead to tame discussions about the merits of Pagwah, Mastana Bahar ,Panorama, Cura River Lime safety , Calypso monarch , Arima Parang ,Woodford Square homelessness , Lavantille/ Caroni 2020 PNM/ UNC/ COP Capital Master Plans , and similar escapist distractions that your four competing leaders Panday, Manning, Dookeran , and now neo Feminist Queen Kamela ,are keen on trotting out for our consumption.
    Curtis my friend, matters relating to nation building are too serious an issue to grapple with while trying to fit into one of Peter Minchell tight fitting ,gender bending costumes, still under the influence of cheap rum . To paraphrase US change agent ,and new age President cousin Obama, this is way above your pay grade.

    What do you know some of these cry babies had to hop on a plane and run to England, USA, Canada , Sweden , India,Kampala and Australia to know about racial and ethnic discrimination. The majority of Tobagonians from 1962 Flora to present ,have been experiencing this dehumanizing treatment at the hands of callous Trinidad based fellow nationals, all of their lives. Sadly , it is just that some have been too stupid, or rather psychologically devastated ,to know that such is the case.
    I stand corrected.

    • Curtis my friend, matters relating to nation building are too serious an issue to grapple with while trying to fit into one of Peter Minchell tight fitting ,gender bending costumes, still under the influence of cheap rum.

      Oh so the goodly gentleman who seems to know everything and believes that every other persons opinion is a waste of time is residing in NY, well that explains it. All he does is bash people’s comments and imply that they are all senseless, offering nothing really when you look deep into his comments. We could do with less of this, really.

  • Neal- even with all of your baggage, you are a funny guy. Perhaps that’s why you seem so frustrated? Some may not know if you are serious or only joking.
    In the past, you have made many statements in forums where you implied that you were for bridging gaps in society.
    How would you “grow” Tobago? What would your plan be? Humor us some more.

  • Just give Tobago all the things that you want for Central , South , East and Western Trinidad Curtis- nothing more , nothing less.
    If you , or any of these clowns we’ve been laden with as leaders can look into a mirror and seriously claim that Tobago was treated as an equal partner , then this would be the final conversation you and I will ever have on any serious matter on the forum from henceforth.

    • Neal I dont think you are serious in asking our leaders to do that, they could never do that, oh shit, I forgot the PM said what tobago wants Tobago gets, so maybe they got what they wanted. Just like the blind loyalists of the PNM who continue to vote PNM and complain for everything under the sun

    • I’m just trying to understand your vision. As a New Yorker, surely you do understand that even in the United States, there are disparities between the States. Some States have huge national parks, while others are mostly farmland like New York. Some focus more on tourism for their economy, while others may focus on federal government, energy, colleges, or manufacturing.
      Has it ever occurred to you that making Tobago the mirror image of Trinidad may be bad for the country as a whole or just bad for Tobago? If Tobago were to become the same as Trinidad, it wouldn’t necessarily mean that it would be equal.
      All that I am stating is that whatever is in store for Tobago should allow some sort of room to be different in its path to achieve any goals pertaining to equality.

  • Cut the crap out Curtis , who do you think you are preching to Dr Igaro Olauda Equano, the Nigerian medical phoney who purchased his educational papers from South Lagos before running to Trinidad to fool these Department of Health idiots that he knows the difference between an appendix and an upset stomach? Do you believe that you are having a dialogue with your buddy Krishna Bengali the uncaring , privileged , yuppie elite Mumbai, that cannot tell the difference between the Koran or the Hindu Bible if you threatened to take away all of his fifteen underaged wives ,or abused child laborers from his sweat shop factories in Bombay?
    Why do you think I made repeated reference to Barbados , because I have a love affair with the flying fish/oil/natural gas stealing upstarts? It was to show that here was a country that is totally dependent on tourism , yet it had a strong , vibrant economy that can rival the nonsense that Panday , Manning , or any of the other three jokers were able to develop in our country since 1962.
    Now you are trying to insult my intelligence with these repulsive remarks about development in Tobago vis-a- vis Trinidad,”where every creed and race , finds and equal place,” – yea right! Spoken like a true tribalist , Curtis!
    Once more mramps you are missing the point, as you choose to resort to condemnation of PNM supporters , as mere “blind loyalist.” What exactly transpired in 1986 , and 1995 respectively ,to make them shift their votes of allegiance from PNM towards the NAR Alliance , and eventually Jawaharlal Nehru”s second rate , yet over ambitious cousin , Mr. Basdeo Panday- still titular head of the ULF/UNC party?
    Do you also believe that like the implied ,gullible idiots of Tobago ,the people of Central, Aranguez, Couva, Oropuche ,Tacarigua , Tunapuna, El Socorro ,Siparia,and selectives parts of South , got what they wanted through the decades when they only voted for Uncle Shah , Panday , and Ramnath, Sudama, Nizam Mohammed , and Kamela?
    What I find amusing about characters like yourself, Curtis and T-Man mmramps ,is that you chastise me for being and insensitive , unpolished brute, as I occasionally throw an occasional light hearted baby jab or two at the stellar images of a few of your selective political heroes, their handlers , and ardent fans, yet turn around as the true phonies that you all are, then do the same, and even worst as you dismiss an entire group of people for lacking the foresight to make cogent , decisions based on what they perceive as their own self interest.
    I told you guys to take the time a learn to play the game of chess , as it would be more useful than all the stupid monies you obviously wasted in efforts of acquiring any useless higher education , as this has served you no good.
    The first lesson you must learn about chess is to keep your eyes focused so as to decide what would be your eventual “end game.”The second lesson is to know the importance of each and every piece on thew board ,from the most important King and powerful Queen ,to the seemingly insignificant pawns.
    Imagine this people , there are people dishing out million of dollars to learn these basic strategic 101 political lessons that yours truly is prepared to offer to mmramps and similar agents of the PM’s in waiting , for free. Go figure!
    Madame Kamela , Uncle Dookeran, cousin Mekela my number is 1-800 Save T&T. it’s your call.
    Yours truly
    Neal ‘President of Pragmatic Globalist Agenda.’

    • Neal- If you are a tourist with no ties to either destination with the option to go to either Tobago or Barbados, where are you going to go? What should be developed in Tobago that would attract visitors that they cannot get in a dozen other Caribbean tourist destinations?
      I am vexed as to how such a seemingly intelligent individual can make uninformed assumptions about others? What political party or persons have I endorsed?

    • What is your end game then? is it to be the only one who seem to have something valid to say?

  • It is you that is the dense one my friend for not even realizing that you are making my very point . Folks would naturally gravitate to Barbados , and even the criminal , economically backward , culturally debase dung heap ,of Jamaica , where the self absorbed have made inferiority complex / chip on the shoulder into an art form . The reason is simple, and because they have a comprehensive , and well structured tourist industry. Resident lifetime Foreign affairs member Mr. Kegal would tell you if asked , what our expensive embassies have done abroad since 62 , and still. They are holding useless tea parties to entertain each other , and so busy congratulating themselves over how generous we are towards the world and other folks in the galaxy, while other economically desperate nation’s staffs, are busy selling their country as a useful business and tourist entity for any intrested- and mean it.
    We have been so full of our selves due to oil and gas , and most importantly, divided as a country due to neo tribalism as played out by PNM and UNC leadership henchmen ,that absolutely nothing of importance can get done unless some stupid racial and ethnic jig and dance is performed for giddy fans on both sides. Therefore Caribbean Court of Appeal ,Privy Council elimination, true justice to deal with ever encroaching white and blue color thugs , concrete proportional sustainable development for Tobago, construction of a railroad , implementing of meaningful child protection legislation, tightening up on laws to keep dangerous drivers off the roads , long overdue land reforms, equitable distribution of the wealth of the nation, a serious security master plan, support for neglected Civil Society, constitutional reform, job creation, business community pulling their weight towards development of our country , gender equality , serious health care, and the list goes on.
    Absolutely nothing Curtis can ever get done in our country , simply because of these culturally driven ,vindictive , tribal, neo colonial political dinosaurs , that many who should know better , are still choosing to categorize as leaders, when in actuality, they are devoid of a caring bone for any one but close pals, and immediate relatives.
    What a tragedy!
    You are therefore well advised to save your outrage for someone else, while at the same time find a way to show what positive things we can emulate from others across the region and the wider global community.
    I wish you well.

  • MAYBE SOME OF U PEOPLE SHOULD TRY AND UNDERSTAND THE PLIGHT OF SOME THAT ARE DIRECTLY AFFECTED!I’M SURE THAT MOST OF U ARE NOT EVEN IN THE PROJECTED PATH OF THE RAIL,BUT EVERY BODY WANTS TO HAVE A SAY.

  • Then RICKEY , you should encourage the powers that be, or Sat Maharaj of Maha Sabha fame ,to use his radio air time privileges/ influences , and access to the future PM , to run a rail through the garbage heaps of John , John, Never Dirty Morvant,Mt Dor Rd Champ Fleures , Lavantille Febeau Village ,and similar former slave infested , PNM dominated non land owning enclaves , so that they would feel similar pain to the now foreign owners of the choice former governmental lands that you are lamenting about.
    Better yet , when some of our nationals get sick, and are unable to get treatments in our neglected overcrowded hospitals-where local Indo Trini doctors, and foreign Cubans and Nigerian African doctors ,are fighting daily for political attention, and economic spoils in the Trini social war zones -suggest medivac to the prestine Tobago Hospital that was constructed when Queen Victoria was a runny nose toddler, skipping around the British palace in Knickers.
    Empathy , and solidarity my friend – it is a prudent political strategy that can go a long way to advancing wider , personal ,sectorial causes. As I have often advised RICKY, this fervent, “selfish ,dog with a bone , me/me, geme/geme syndrome,” gets one no way. Know any group that practices it on a daily basis in our country? Call names , and I would whistle, ehh? Let’s keep them honest ,and for heavens sake ,love country over self, shall we?

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