Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles is reassuring Tobagonians that every effort is being made to ensure continuation and predictability of their supply of goods in the coming weeks.
Tobagonians rely on the inter-island cargo ferry for transporting goods to the island every day. The Super Fast Galicia cargo ferry, which currently serves the route, will depart on April 21.
Charles continues to have talks with the Ministry of Works and Transportation and the Port Authority, which runs the inter-island service.
The Chief Secretary said he is aware of the concerns Tobagonians have raised on the issue and the importance of a reliable cargo vessel servicing the seabridge between the islands.
He said: “What affects Tobago affects me. The situation is not ideal, but we have to consider the options available to us in the short term. My priority continues to be the service to Tobago.”
He said the Tobago House of Assembly is monitoring the situation, and is working with all stakeholders to ensure that all available options are pursued, should there be any shortcomings during an expected six-week window between the departure of the Galicia and the arrival of its replacement.
“It is my fervent wish that at the end of the day, what we have agreed on and the way we have determined the way we will go forward will redound to the benefit of all of us here in Tobago,” Charles said.
Central Government has put out a tender for leasing a replacement cargo vessel for the next three years. Within that period, plans are being made to purchase a vessel to permanently service the inter-island route.