FEATURE ADDRESS BY
THE HONOURABLE NIZAM BAKSH
MINISTER OF PUBLIC UTILITIES
AT
KUMAR RECREATION GROUND
ON
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
KENT STREET, WILLIAMSVILLE
AT 6:30 P.M.



SALUTATIONS
•    Mr. Aiknath Singh, Chairman of the Princes Town Regional Corporation
•    Mrs. Susilla Ramkissoon-Mark, Chairman of T&TEC
•    Commissioners of T&TEC
•    Mr. Kelvin Ramsook, General Manager of T&TEC
•    Ms. Vashti Sookoo, Councillor for Ben Lomond/Hardbargain/Williamsville
•    Other Councillors of the Princes Town Regional Corporation
•    Mr. Harold Lee, Area Manager, T&TEC’s Distribution South
•    Mr. Shazard Mohammed, Acting Manager of T&TEC’s Public Lighting Department
•    Executives and Management of T&TEC
•    Residents of Williamsville and environs
•    Members of the media
•    Distinguished ladies and gentlemen

Good evening and thank you all for accepting our invitation as we officially illuminate the Kumar Village Recreation Ground. This is the second illumination that we are having in Naparima this evening. We just came from Lothians Recreation Ground in Princes Town, having turned on the lights there.

Tonight has been a busy night, for T&TEC’s communication department graciously led by Annabelle Brasnell, and for me as Minister of Public Utilities and your elected Member of Parliament.

But it is in keeping with the trend that we have established over the past few months, where we have accelerated our public lighting programme and our goal is to illuminate two (2) grounds or more per week!

 

I am also delighted to inform you this evening that this is the eighth ground that we have lit in the Constituency of Naparima since the inception of Your Government, the Peoples Partnership Government.

Ladies and Gentlemen, to date we have successfully illuminated:
•    The Mt. Stewart Recreation Ground (Green Arrow Ground),
•    The Ben Lomond Recreation Ground,
•    The BIC Recreation Ground,
•    The Malgretoute Recreation Ground,
•    The Darren Ganga Recreation Ground,
•    The Congo Hill Recreation Ground,
•    We just commissioned the Lothians Recreation Ground a short distance away,
•    And this Ground, the Kumar Recreation Ground, brings the total to eight in the Constituency of Naparima.

There is no better way to end the month than with this twin-ceremony in the constituency that I call home. 

Why are we placing such a high priority on the lighting up of grounds and parks in our communities? You may ask.

The answer, Ladies and gentlemen, is that these projects are part of the larger Programme which your Government, has been implementing to transform Trinidad and Tobago into a nation that we can all be proud of.  It is also one where the Government intends to achieve its Vision of “Prosperity for All” for this nation.

And so, within this broader context, we will see the rolling out of several different types of programmes and projects aimed at Security for the nation, Food Security, and like this one, where the focus is on Building Healthy and Sustainable Communities.

A Recreation ground that is well outfitted, well maintained and well illuminated opens up a tremendous amount of opportunities for the community, from the formal preparation for professional sports to creating that space where individuals and families can relax, socialize and take action to make themselves more fit and healthy.

In Williamsville here you have very good examples to follow. And I take this opportunity to pay public tribute to the men and women from this community who have contributed to the legacy that this ground represents. Families like the Farteiras, Sanafies and Sankarrans. And community-minded people like Isaac Ramoutar, one of the founding members of Cosmos Sports Club.

The legacy left by these members of your community is already bearing fruit in the likes of the twin-stars, Justin and Jordan Tamkaran, and De Angelo Sanafie, young players from this community who recently won the Under 19 South Zone Cricket finals.

As an avid fan and lover of cricket myself, I would like to congratulate these young men and encourage them to reach for even greater heights in the national and international arenas. This Recreation ground would have been used by these young men as they sought to hone their skills in the sport.

And it is my hope that generations to come will follow in their footsteps, making themselves, the community and the nation proud.

It is for reasons like these, Ladies and Gentlemen, that you will find that I hold a strong passion for this public lighting programme and why the Government has accorded the programme such a high priority. As I mentioned a short while ago at the Lothians Recreation Ground, the People’s Partnership Government will soon proudly celebrate its fourth Anniversary.

During these years of Governance we have worked tirelessly to positively impact all communities in Trinidad and Tobago. As Minister of Public utilities I have also ensured that you the Citizens of this blessed country are at the forefront of our efforts and so I am extremely pleased to announce that we have successfully illuminated One Hundred and Thirty Five (135) Recreation Grounds throughout Trinidad and Tobago since taking Office.

I would also like to tell you here this evening ladies and Gentlemen, that currently, Thirty (30) more Recreation Grounds have been completed and are awaiting Commissioning and work is in progress on approximately Twenty Nine (29) other grounds through-out Trinidad and Tobago.

My area is public lighting, in terms of funding and decision-making but the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has ensured that there is collaboration between its Ministries to positively impact members of society such as you. These important inputs from other agencies that partner with us such as our sister Ministry, the Ministry of Sport, carries out the physical upgrades of the grounds.

And, of course the Public Lighting Department of T&TEC which carries out the electrical and installation works to bring the lighting to fruition.

I want to publicly recognise the good work of all contributors and I ask you to join me in giving them a hearty round of applause.  In this job of politics I realize that patience is a great virtue; I recall that it  was  since 2007, I, as your MP, made recommendations to the Sporting Company of Trinidad and Tobago for the construction of a pavilion that would meet the needs of this and surrounding communities. 

This evening, I am happy to celebrate the finished product with you, and for me, the lights that we are about to put on are the icing on the cake!

Ladies and gentlemen, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago is moving swiftly ahead with its development programme , and there is evidence all over the country on how great this programme is impacting on our citizens to improve their well-being and their quality and standard of living.

Work being done by the Ministry of Local Government, the Regional Corporations and the Members of Parliament through their Constituency work are highly visible in rolling out these types of programmes.

Right here in Williamsville, some of the projects that we have recently completed include the construction of an Early Childhood Care and Education Centre, the paving and refurbishing of ten (10) roads, including Kumar Avenue, two water projects and the extension of an electricity supply to American Flatts.

And this evening we are delivering this particular project, bringing lights to the Kumar Recreation ground which cost the Ministry of Public Utilities a total of seven hundred and four thousand, five hundred and fifty-seven dollars ($704,557.00) - a well deserved investment for this community.

Now, you will be able to use these facilities for extended periods in the evening and the early morning. And so, I ask that in keeping with the history and legacy of this ground and this community, you make the most of the opportunities it affords you, to exercise, to build community spirit, and to develop young talent.

 And so, I must once again thank T&TEC, as well as my staff at the Ministry of Public Utilities for facilitating the funding and completion of this project. I would also like to recognise your hard-working Councillor Ms. Vashti Sookhoo for her support in this and so many other initiatives that benefit the residents of this community and environs.

I take this opportunity to thank you once again for your attendance this evening, to congratulate you on your new grounds and  hope to witness first hand, or read about, the many success stories in sport and recreation that would flow from these Grounds.

Thank you and may God bless us all.