Dick-Forde revealed that major infrastructural developments will take place in central Trinidad over the next fiscal year. These developments include a new hospital, health centre and district health facility in Chaguanas, 100-acre commercial farms in Caroni and Edinburgh and a prison in Caroni. She also said Government will lay a new national physical development plan in Parliament by 2010.
Dick-Forde made these announcements in response to statements made by Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce vice-president Sharma Lalla at a breakfast meeting held at Kam Po Restaurant, Chaguanas. Lalla told the minister that central Trinidad has become the “victim of success” because the region’s infrastructure has not kept apace with its development. He said all of this was aptly highlighted by the recent flooding and the insufficient resources allocated to Local Government bodies and other agencies to deal with such crises.
In response, Dick Forde said the budget would address Lalla’s concerns and added that it would focus on the infrastructural plans for the entire country.
She agreed with Lalla that “there has been a lag” between housing and industrial developments and the construction of related infrastructure. The minister gave the assurance that this is being addressed through the national physical development plan which has been constantly updated since 1984 although “that plan has somehow never reached to Parliament.” She added that work on the plan started in July and it should be laid in Parliament in 2010.