Road planner wants his $10M
A TWENTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD man is going after Government for $10 million which he claims he is owed for ABC Highway recommendations he made.
Jason Felix, of Valley, St George, is accusing Government of utilising his suggestions for the widening of the highway into four lanes and the use of the highway as a transfer hub, without his consent.
He told the DAILY NATION that his proposals were contained in a document entitled Why There Is Traffic Congestion which he submitted to the Ministry of Transport and Works back in 2005.
“They did not use my proposal in its entirety but they still used the majority of it. The basis of the highway expansion project was my proposal.
“I suggested the expansion of the highway by putting in four lanes and improving the Warrens area by putting separate lanes from the roundabout by Shell gas station going to Clermont [St James] and also separate lanes at the Sir Garfield Sobers Roundabout.
“But unique to my proposal was placing lay-bys on the Highway to be used an a transfer hub.”
$10 Million idea
He explained that he was claiming $9 million for the design and $1 million for the transfer hub proposal, which was put into effect last March.
Felix produced a letter which his attorneys wrote to the ministry claiming damages on his behalf for use of his intellectual property. And he pointed out that he has had meetings with Permanent Secretary Lionel Nurse, in an effort to resolve the matter amicably. But he stated that he felt as if he was being treated with contempt.
“I was able to rationalise and put a good proposal together that would suit the needs of the average person moving from point A to point B and ease the congestion on the highway, but because I am young and black, they don’t want to pay me $10 million. It is my money and I want it – all of it,” he stated, adding that he would be suing Government.
The young man, who is passionate about traffic management, said he wrote the document on traffic congestion at the suggestion of Gline Clarke, former Minister of Transport and Works, in the previous administration.
Felix said when he started noticing things being implemented which resembled his proposals he immediately contacted Clarke.
“I would go and ask him about compensation for my proposal and he would ask me why I don’t go and do studies in traffic management. Then last year he gave me a letter to take to the Ministry of Transport and Works.
In that letter Clarke admitted that Felix submitted a “voluntary proposal” on traffic management but stated: “During my time as Minister of Public Works, several other persons made oral and or written proposals/submission on traffic management in Barbados.”
He said Felix’s proposal, along with others, were passed on to the Chief Technical Officer for examination, but added that Felix should be compensated “if indeed his ideas and suggestion were original and used by the Government of Barbados”.
However, Felix said that at a meeting last year with Permanent Secretary Nurse he was told that even though his proposals were good they had to be tested before he was compensated.
He charged that his suggestion of creating a transfer hub along the highway was indeed tested by the University of the West Indies when it carried out a route analysis survey for the Ministry of Transport and Works. He said he was also hired as a consultant on the project.
Felix said he was first paid $3 500 for his role but after demanding a consultancy fee of $68 000, he was subsequently offered $23 520.
When contacted, head of the Department of Management Studies at the UWI, Dr Justin Robinson, who was responsible for the survey, confirmed that Felix was involved in the survey but said he had never seen his proposal.
When contacted Minister of Transport and Works John Boyce stated: “As far as I am aware he has taken us to court so I can’t comment on it.”