PORT-OF-SPAIN (Trinidad Express):
GOVERNMENT IS moving to ensure that the controversial Brian Lara Stadium at Tarouba in South Trinidad is completed in time for Cricket World Cup 2007.
Andre Lauveau, communications manager at the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, has assured cricket lovers that all targets will be met.
"By the end of June the playing surface, which includes the ground and pitch, would be completed. The minister also announced recently that construction of
the stadium stands and dressing rooms would be completed by December," he said.
WORK ON STADIUM
Excavation works being carried out by the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) were in their final stages on a large plot of land along the Solomon Hochoy Highway, the Express was told.
The stadium is being built at an estimated cost of TT$275 million and will form part
of a lavish sporting complex.
The complex includes an Olympic-size swimming pool, a world-class cycling facility, a school for sports and the cricket academy. The overall master plan would cost TT$850 million. Prime Minister Patrick Manning has said the expenditure should be seen as an investment towards the integration of the Caribbean. He said it would be a state-of-the-art facility, similar to those in Australia and England.
A great deal of controversy was initially generated by Government's announcement of the stadium. The controversy was caused by the feeling that there are many other more critical needs than a new national stadium, particularly those cash-strapped sectors such as national security, health care and education. Others have argued that the construction of the complex would mean increased employment and an avenue for youths to improve their athletic skills.