President of the Tobago Chamber of Commerce Demi Jon Cruickshank, said the Prime Minister confirmed the meeting just days after receiving a letter requesting a meeting to deal with issues related to the use of a barge to transport goods to Tobago from April 21, after the Galicia departs.
The meeting is scheduled to be held next Monday.
“We have received word that the meeting has been set. We are hopeful to meet with the Prime Minister on the issue, which is of national importance, especially for the people of Tobago,” Cruickshank said.
The Trinidad Guardian newspaper quotes Cruickshank as saying that the Prime Minister needs to tell Tobago if a barge is really what he wants for the inter- island sea transportation of goods.
“At this point in time, the chamber in Tobago and other stakeholders are calling for the resignation of the Minister of Transport (Rohan Sinanan). As important as the highway from San Fernando to Point Fortin is to the people of Trinidad, the inter-island cargo situation is the lifeline for the people of Tobago,” he added.
Cruickshank said priority must be given to Tobago and nothing less will be accepted.
At the start of the month Inter-Continental Shipping Ltd, the owners of the ferry said the vessel would end operations on the domestic sea brief on April 18.
Sinanan then stressed that the short term period of two months between the time the Galicia ceases operations and closure of a tender to acquire a replacement vessel, is the period which must be immediately addressed .
He said no company is being “blacklisted” from participating in the tender and he hopes Inter-Continental would participate.
Pointing to concerns raised by the Tobago Chamber of Commerce about options to replace the Galicia, the Transport Minister said this was not a simple matter ,
He was quoted as saying that acquiring a vessel to operate on the sea bridge is different from acquiring a new motor vehicle from a automobile dealership because the requirements are far different.
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