Pan Trinbago HQ site an ‘eyesore’
NATIONAL Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters has urged Pan Trinbago “to do something” with the plot of land off the Churchill Roosevelt Highway in Tacarigua designated for the past several years to house its headquarters.
Gypsy made the comments as Pan Trinbago distributed prizes to the finalists and winners of its single pan competition, held on February 3 at the Arima Velodrome. The prize distribution took place yesterday at Pan Trinbago’s head office, Duke and Melbourne Streets, Port of Spain.
Peters said to the gathered pannists, “That eyesore that we have going up on the highway...that should never be. I am one to tell them, and I told the president that too, I said the day I become the Minister of Culture in this country again...if Pan Trinbago does not do something with that place, I would personally go to Cabinet and make sure that they take it back from them and make sure they do something else for culture with it.
“And I mean it. And I don’t want that to happen.” The land was given to pan’s governing body in 2002. A 2011 newspaper report said the Kamla Persad-Bissessar government had allocated $7 million for completion of the headquarters, which had been delayed for years.
A 2013 report by a parliamentary joint select committee said the project had been at a standstill for a number of years and as a result, the steel used was deteriorating and required immediate attention. Continuing inaction, it said, would result in the loss of money already invested.
At that point the project was due to be completed in late 2013, but the committee warned, "There should be a strict deadline for the contractors to adhere to in order to ensure its completion in a timely manner." The Urban Development Corporation (Udecott) website still lists the status of the project as "conceptual."
By Mellissa Doughty
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday Newspapers.