Penal/ Debe Regional Corporation chairman Dr Allen Sammy is predicting an explosion of “orphan roads” following Petrotrin’s closure as roads and bridges once maintained by the state-owned oil company would have to be maintained by the cash-strapped corporation.
“Even if we are not legally responsible for those roads, as long as people are living along those roadways, they are going to ask us to come in and help them and that is where we will have a challenge because we don’t have resources vested in us.
In fact we understand that they are going to cut the allocation for roads and bridges this year by 10 per cent.”
He said orphan roads include roads once maintained by Caroni Limited, old forest roads, old agriculture roads and roads which had been abandoned by private land developers.
In an interview Sunday, Sammy said there were an estimated 459 active and inactive oil wells in the Penal/ Barrackpore area with “hundreds” of homes and “dozens” of farms built along the Petrotrin roads.
“Of the 459 wells, about half are inactive, virtually abandoned which means the people living along those roadways, who have used those access roads for 20, 30, 40 years will now have a road that is not maintained because there is no need to maintain them.
The active wells in theory, they will go in and maintain those but we are keeping our fingers crossed because they have no money, we are hoping they at least maintain those.”
He said farms located along roads such as Bunsee Trace Extension, Laltoo Trace Extension and Sundrees Road would be hampered in bringing their produce to the market.
“In the face of shrinking allocations and the absence of the legal authority to enter and maintain the infrastructure, I see tremendous challenges for the corporation in the weeks and months ahead. He said an orphan road is one which does not fall under the responsibility of either the corporation or the Ministry of Works and Transport.