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Former Transport Minister Guy Joseph has called out the National Council on Public Transportation (NCOPT) for its inaction regarding the deplorable state of Saint Lucia’s roads.
He wanted to know whether the organisation was ‘playing politics’.
“Why is it that when it was Belair, they called for a strike action on a community that it was less than a mile of road with some potholes? They shut down the service in that community,” Joseph, who once headed the NCOPT, said.
On Tuesday, the former Castries South East MP spoke at an opposition United Workers Party (UWP) news conference.
“So is the National Council on Public Transportation playing politics or are they representing the interests of the people?” Joseph asked.
He noted that the Council had demanded an apology over Infrastructure Minister Stephenson King’s remarks.
Late last year, King had this response to the NCOPT’s complaints about deplorable road conditions:
“I also would like the National Transportation Council to address the issues pertaining to minibus operators who are violating the laws, the laws which govern the operation of public transportation in Saint Lucia and others who are violating the rights of other people – the rights of young women and other people.”
NCOPT Public Relations Officer Spencer Mc Phee said that minibus operators were ‘taken aback’ and ‘disgusted’ by what King said.
However, Guy Joseph questioned whether the NCOPT had received an apology from the Infrastructure Minister and whether the authorities had fixed the roads.
“Nothing has happened, yet still they remain silent,” Joseph said regarding the NCOPT.
As a result, the former Minister declared that individual bus drivers are taking action to curtail service in various communities.
Joseph asserted that although people might not know it, many citizens are not getting public transport services.
“We don’t know it because it is not publicised, but it is time that this government realises the solution to the problems in this country is to call the elections,” he told reporters.
“You cannot fix the roads – let the UWP government, who have proven over the years to be better managers of the affairs of the country, come in and handle the affairs and put Saint Lucia back on the right footing,” Joseph told Tuesday’s news conference.
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