“We explored it as an option this morning and I am now on the way to the facility with some engineers to examine the possibility of this,” Moonilal told Sunday Newsday yesterday afternoon.
Asked if the current state of work at the Udecott facility, which has been dogged by years of delay and controversy, was such that it could readily be transformed into a jail, Moonilal said, “Any use of the facility in this manner would be part of a temporary erection.”
He said the facility is being regarded as one option but is not the “first option”.
“We have other facilities in mind, but this is necessary in the event that there is need for such a facility next week,” he said.
The Tarouba facility has a long and troubled history going back to 2006, when it was launched for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. The Report of the Uff Commission of Inquiry into Udecott described the project, under the PNM, as “scandalous” and recommended a police probe of the board over its conduct in the management of the project. There have also been contractor disputes over payments, questions of approvals, and one incident in which dogs were used to lock out personnel from the compound.