State asked to pay compensation owed to landowners involved in Highway extension

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State asked to pay compensation owed to landowners involved in Highway extension

Highway Reroute Movement (HRM) leader Wayne Kublalsingh is calling on the Government to pay outstanding compensation to families whose lands were acquired by the State for the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin project.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Kublalsingh said several people who owned land within the Mon Desir to Debe segment have died without receiving their compensation.

Although a one mile stretch between the Mon Desir Interchange and the Fyzabad Interchange is almost complete, he said they have not received compensation.

Kublalsingh said this goes against the EMA Act which stated NIDCO “should ensure that all finals negotiations for the acquisition of all properties inclusive of private agricultural lands and compensation to the owners should be completed before the commencement of any relocation or demolition works as well as any constructed activities within 500 meters of the affected persons.”

He pointed out that 16 members of the HRM have died in the last six years, and reiterated that the non- payment of compensation is illegal and immoral.

A 2019 Commission of Enquiry into corruption in the land acquisition for the highway has failed to come off and Kublalsingh said, “If it is the Government’s stated intention to discover corruption, malignant behaviour on the part of public officials why are they repeating the same thing they are asking the enquiry to discover. It is not good. Dr Rowley knows about this Mr Sinanan knows about this.”