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20-Inch Pipeline in use and Not Abandoned

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Monday, November 27, 2006 – Minister for Communications, Works Transport and Public Utilities Honourable Felix Finisterre has again denied claims that government has abandoned a 20-inch pipeline project, which was commissioned just over a year ago.

Minister Finisterre says the 20-inch pipeline to this day, remains in use and will never need to be abandoned, because of the important role it plays in transmitting water directly to the north of the island. He says the proof is there, in that hotels no longer need to truck water and complaints for water in the north of the island have been minimal.

The Minister says the claims are deliberate and are being used as propaganda for political mileage.

He said, “The 20-inch pipe funded by the French Government, is to ensure that water from the TR Theobalds Plant at Ciceron get to the area of greatest need, that is the hotel and residential belt in the north of the island. It had one or two problems but that pipeline has been commissioned over a year ago and is working. The people up there have been satisfied that there is adequate supply to most communities, except with distribution systems for smaller communities such as La Bourne.”

The Minister says the 16-inch pipelines now being laid on the other side of the highway should not be confused with the already commissioned 20-inch pipeline project. The Minister says there is a clear distinction between a transmission line and a distribution line.

“The 20-inch pipeline is a transmission line. We are now replacing a distribution line—a very old 16-inch line. If we didn't do that now, when we resurfaced the road at some point in the near future, we will have to come back and dig the new highway. It made sense to put a variation on the ongoing roadworks to avoid that,” the minister said.

The minister said government is also being proactive by allowing the installation of a broadband duct to accept cables of a new broadband company-Southern Caribbean Fibre-which has already been given a licence to operate in St. Lucia. This, he says, is expected to significantly enhance broadband capable technology on the island.

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