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Government Builds Partnerships for Smooth Progress of Works on Castries/Gros-Islet Highway

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Contact: Chris Satney

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 – Government of Saint Lucia is continuing to request the assistance of the media in getting the right information to the public on the rehabilitation of the Castries/Gros-Islet Highway.

The Ministry of Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities has taken a proactive stance on providing information of ongoing government projects. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities Ben Emmanuel thinks that position could be strengthened with the partnership of the local media as it takes on its most challenging project yet.

Work on the Castries/Gros-Islet Highway has started with the installation of 14 inch pipelines, the cutting of trees and the commencement of work on the Choc Roundabout. The Highway will involve the transformation of the present route to a four-lane highway, from Paul's Gas Station to the Union Junction.

“We are available to talk with the press on all aspects of the project. I want in particular to say that you should feel free to call the officials and get the information from source and to verify information so that what you put out to the public will in-fact be coming from official sources.” said Mr. Emmanuel.

Mr. Emmanuel said though the project is a very challenging one , it is by no means beyond the ministry's capability to execute. He said the general approach to the project is one of collaboration, coordination and partnership building. He said it is for this reason that the ministry has established a project Monitoring Committee—made up of key stakeholders.

“That monitoring committee comprises representatives from the private sector, the Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Association, the SLHTA, Manufacturers Association, key agencies of government—such as the ministries of Education, Physical Development, Finance as well as representative of the Utility companies, the contractor, consulting engineer and the National Council on Public Transport,” he said.

Mr. Emmanuel says the work of that committee is critical to ensuring all stakeholders are involved in all stages of the project and can as a result address problems associated with its execution.

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