Friday 21 February, 2020

Sinanan: 'Not one cent' paid to Kay Donna land owners

No money has been paid by the State to the owners of the building which once housed the Kay Donna drive-in cinema.

That's according to Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan who said the acquisition of the Kay Donna property to facilitate the construction of the Curepe Interchange was still being negotiated.

He was responding to a question posed by Opposition MP Dr Roodal Moonilal regarding the total sum agreed for the acquisition of the drive-in property. 

Sinanan said the State has not paid one cent to the land owners as those negotiations are still ongoing.

Asked whether these negotiations would still be ongoing past 2020 when another government may take office, the Minister said he was certain the matter would be settled before 2045.

He made it clear that the Works Ministry does not negotiate final payments, nor does it engage in the valuations of properties. The Minister explained that these matters are handled by the Finance Ministry's Valuations Department, whose decision which will guide the Works Ministry. 

Sinanan also responded to claims on social media from a purported United National Congress (UNC) page which alleged that the Ministry received $100 million for the property, while the Minister received $130 million. 

"My information is that the owners of the Kay Donna drive-in do not own the land. 

No claim has been made for the land and a claim is being negotiated for substantially less." 

Under the previous administration, Sinanan said $150 million was approved for land acquisition for the Curepe Interchange project, which the current administration has reduced to $89 million for 24 properties. 

The Minister said it is expected that all properties to be acquired will fall under the amount approved by Government. 

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