PORT OF SPAIN — As far as some of the people living in the path of the proposed highway between Debe and Mon Desir are concerned, hunger striker Dr. Wayne Kublalsingh might as well give up, go home, and have dinner.
What he is doing will amount to nothing, some say.
Still, others believe it makes no sense fighting when you know it’s a losing cause.
Others feel it will just hurt more, in the end, if they cling to their homes and watch them being torn down.
Those squatting on state land on former Caroni Ltd sugar fields, say they have no choice but to accept the request to leave and the compensation of money and land elsewhere.
Some see Kublalsingh as a self-centred, disconnected publicity seeker.
Others don’t understand his environmental concerns, and his talk about hydrology and social displacement.
The short point for many – there is too much traffic on the often flooded South Trunk Road, Mosquito Creek, and it takes too long to get from here to there. If the highway fixes that, that’s enough justification.
Their advice to Kublalsingh: The hurt being caused by this highway route is not worth a life.
But there is also unease along this 9.1 kilometre segment, which is estimated to have a $2.1 billion construction cost, and impact 150 homes.
This is a United National Congress stronghold, and to fight the majority view that the highway be built is to be branded a traitor.
People fear that what they say could jeopardise the compensation being offered by the National Infrastructure Development Corporation, which is tasked with overseeing the project.
And few of those living in the path of the highway can say exactly when the compensation would come, or when they will have to go, except that it will be sometime next year. (Express)