I write as a concerned citizen and former employee of Petrotrin regarding the decision to close the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery.
Close to 600 residents of North Oropouche Road, Sangre Grande are pleading for help to repair an almost impassable road leading to their community but it seems no one is responsible for the roadway as it neither falls under the jurisdiction of the regional corporation nor the Ministry of Works.
Yesterday, some of the residents protested in the blazing sun to get the authorities to act. The road, known as Boodoo Highway stretches for about two miles from North Oropouche Road ending at the Sangre Chiquito. It was constructed by a private land developer.
Last week, another resident sent images of the pot-holed road via CNC3’s mobile App, using the MyEye feature, pleading on the “relevant authorities to act.”
Resident Catherine Transoco Garraway, told T&T Guardian the road has been in this deplorable condition for the last 40 years and some paving has been done in 2010, but without drains at the side.
“This area is prone to flooding, but yet nothing is done to have proper drains. When it floods, we the residents suffer,” she said.
“It is dry season and look at the road, potholes over 30 inches with water, we living in conditions which are not conducive, most people are employed and pay taxes like others, so why we cannot benefit from better road conditions also?” she asked.
Yesterday’s protest by the residents is their first stage and they intend to move on to another stage if they do not get some positive response from the relevant authorities, Garraway said.
Parbatee Seemungal, the secretary of Vade Village Community Group, told the media taxi drivers have refused to operate their vehicles on Vade Road because it was costing them additional money to have their vehicles repaired more frequently.
She said if they do get a taxi to drop them home it costs between $15 to $20 in the day and $40 at night.
“We used to walk the road, but with the upsurge in crime, residents have refrained from walking the road,” she said.
Semungal said numerous letters have been sent to Ministry of Works and Transport, the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, the National Commission for Self Help and their response have all been negative.
Most of the agencies they sought help from told them the road is “an orphan road” so they cannot assist.
Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said an orphan road is one which is constructed by a private land developer and not adopted by a regional corporation.
Sinanan advised potential landowners to ensure that all infrastructure and statutory measures have been fulfilled by the developer before purchasing properties.
Local government councillor Anil Juteram, who was at the protest site, said he had been making representation for the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation to adopt the road without success. Sinanan urged Juteram not to politicise the residents’ plight.
Juteram said the protest was not about politics but people.
He said it pained him to see law-abiding people not getting the infrastructure for better living conditions.
“The people of Vade Road are bubbling up and like others, they are not blocking roadways, felling trees or burning tyres on the road. They are protesting peacefully,” he said.
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