Residents protest ‘life of darkness’ in PM’s constituency
By Stacy Moore Monday, August 6 2012
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Lyndon Jackson, right, and Amar Mohammed, with his daughter Niandra in his arms, hold on to their placrads as they take part in a placard demonstratio...
RESIDENTS of Sunrees Branch Road, Penal, a village in Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s constituency, yesterday staged a placard demonstration to highlight the lack of basic amenities in their area.
Chief among the complaints was the absence of an electricity supply for over ten years now, forcing residents to live what they described as “a life of darkness”.
The frustrated residents said their pleas for an electricity supply have fallen on deaf ears, as complaints to their councillor, Shanty Boodram as well as the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation have been futile.
From about 9 am yesterday, the residents, including children lined the street holding placard cards with the writings, “Kamla we get no change, only short change” and “Kamla despises poor people”.
“We have children and we have to provide for we children. Is eight years now we living without lights and we can’t go to TTEC because we don’t have no Deed of Comfort from (LSA) or nothing and even if we get it, then they would say we don’t have no road. It is always a problem, ” said resident Cursil Asson.
She said residents were told that they would be given a Deed of Comfort, but then they were told that would not be happening, no more deeds of comfort were being given out.
“Now that no one else would be given a deed of comfort, what are we suppose to do...All “we want is someone to do something, we are people too,” she said.
Asson said when night falls it is “pitch black” in the village.
“My child does be getting up crying because of the darkness, it affecting people and we just need somebody to do something and help us. All we want is electricity,” she said. Another resident, Kimberly Mungal, said residents had gone to the Prime Minister’s representative and he had given instructions to officials from the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation for a letter to be sent to TTEC.
“That letter was never written. We have nowhere else to turn to and this is what we have to do for our voices to be heard. Wherever you go to for help, they keep turning you down,” Mungal said.
“They keep saying they will call back and nobody has called us back. We don’t know who to turn to. We ask for change because is years now we have not gotten current and we vote for change and is the same thing,” Mungal said. She said some residents have been using generators for years.
Mother of two, Savatree Ramoutar, 35, said she uses a lamp for light.
“I can never know the use of a refrigerator and my children have to go through the same stress I went through in this world of technology,” Ramoutar said.
The young mother said she has been living in the area close to 30 years and she never had electricity.
“I have to go to the market everyday because I cannot buy things in bulk. Where will I freeze it. I have to go to work and depend on the electricity there to put my phone to charge,” she added.
When Newsday contacted the councillor for the area, Shanty Boodram, she said she was aware of the problems affecting the area but that there was a procedure to follow, which involved the the Land Settlements Agency, before the residents could be facilitated with an electricity supply.
Boodram said the residents were aware of the procedures that had to be followed.