PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug. 13, CMC – Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has announced plans to meet with stakeholders in Tobago to address the government’s“unsuccessful attempt” to find a replacement passenger ferry to service the sea bridge between Trinidad and Tobago.
In a statement on Saturday, the Office of the Prime Minister said the meeting will be held on August 21
The meeting with representatives from the Tobago Chamber of Commerce, the Tobago Hoteliers Association, the Tobago Truckers Association and others, will be held on August 21 .
Rowley decided to hold the meeting just one day after he apologised for the cancellation of a contract with Ocean Flower 11 passenger ferry by the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago.
The decision to terminate the contract was made last Tuesday after the supplier of the vessel failed to meet the delivery date within the extension period laid out in the contract.
The Port Authority’s legal team recommended that the contract be terminated in an effort to rule out any legal repercussions.
“The unsuccessful attempt to find a replacement passenger ferry is a matter of great disappointment to me and I am sure the majority of Tobagonians who rely on this service for their comfort and livelihood,” Rowley said.
“The Government is not unmindful of your plight and is currently engaged in making all reasonable efforts to remedy the situation in the short term.”
Rowley also had made an appeal to all the people who are addressing the issues affecting TT’s “very vital inter island service, “to redouble the efforts, without compromising principles and within all contractual safeguards to ensure that an acceptable service is restored at the earliest opportunity.”
Meanwhile, President of the Tobago Division of the TT Chamber of Commerce Demi John Cruickshank said the organisation welcomed the meeting.
“With the prime minister as the head of the government of Trinidad and Tobago, I think is about time he took control of this crisis that has been affecting the economy and the travelling public between Trinidad and Tobago” he told the Trinidad Newsday.
The Port Authority has been working to secure a new passenger ferry to service the inter-island sea bridge since the MV Superfast Galicia pulled from local service earlier this year.
Three vessels are currently being used. – the T&T Spirit, T&T Express and the Cabo Star, however they are all under passenger capacity.