TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Ministry probes"Merry Christmas? posters on highway - EntornoInteligente

Entornointeligente.com / Trinidad Express / THE Ministry of Works and Infrastructure is investigating whether the billboards bearing “Merry Christmas” posters of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar were legally constructed. Acting Director of Highways in the ministry, Colin Nakhid, said yesterday the removal of the posters on some of the signage infrastructure indicated they could have been illegally erected. On Sunday, two billboards off the Solomon Hochoy highway, in the vicinity of Corinth Hills, San Fernando near the Golconda Interchange were stripped of the posters and yesterday two more were removed along the Uriah Butler and Churchill-Roosevelt highways. Nakhid said: “The fact that they have taken it down is a good indication that the people who did it probably had no permission or they probably encroached on the ROW (right-of way) totally independent of the ministry’s involvement. “ He said he was still not aware as to who would have given permission, if any at all, to have the billboards established along the nation’s highways. Nakhid also had no clue who were the people involved in the removal. Nakhid said: “It may very well be possible that this has come from a level higher up. We were not involved. We are doing the investigations now as to who could really make a bold move to do that (billboards), to put that on the ROW. We have to find out if they are on the ROW or not.” However, he said the Express’s reporting of the issue had a positive impact especially since during the upcoming Carnival season, many would want to advertise parties and fetes. Nakhid said: “I have had about ten telephone calls this morning from people preparing for the Carnival. They want to know whether they could put down billboards and where they could put it down. “It has raised an awareness of the need to seek approval prior to anything on the road reserve. “A lot of people do not know what a road reserve is. The article has brought about a lot of positive outcomes.” Last week, Nakhid said no permission was given for the billboards to be placed along the Solomon Hochoy highway and the Uriah Butler highway and only traffic safety signs were allowed alongside roads. He said billboards can only be placed on private property without the State getting involved. Another ministry official told the Express that any structure that goes up along the highway must have the approval of the Director of Highways. NO REQUESTS San Fernando Mayor Kazim Hosein said yesterday no requests were made to the San Fernando City Corporation for the billboards to be erected and he was also unaware as to who would have removed the posters. Since becoming mayor last year, Hosein has given instructions for the removal of several billboards that were illegally erected. Previous Article Rowley: Leave billboards

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