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Tuesday 20 August 2019
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Sinanan: WASA and heavy trucks to blame for bad roads

Rohan Sinanan
Rohan Sinanan

Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said works done by the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA), along with overweight trucks, were the two major contributors to the poor condition of roads.

Sinanan made the remarks during his opening address at a stakeholders' meeting on overweight trucks at his ministry, London Street, Port of Spain.

He said the government had a responsibility to preserve its infrastructure and the meeting was aimed at getting contractors to adhere to the law and carry loads of acceptable weight.

"It is not about finding a way to penalise contractors, it's about finding a way to preserve the infrastructure which is owned by the citizens. I would have made some statements in the past and some of you (contractors) might not have been too happy with those statements, but any government must make sure that all the infrastucture of the company is protected.

"We do have a problem with WASA, they are one of our main culprits on the deterioration of the roads. We also have a challenge with the movements of the soil .

"But a major part of our problem in most areas, the deterioration has to do with the weight of trucks. A lot of the roadways were not designed for the weight the trucks were carrying."

Sinanan also said that unlike previous years, his ministry had less money to repair the roads and waslooking at different ways to save money while preserving the quality of the roads.

Director of the Ministry's Highways Division Navin Ramsingh said if truck drivers adhered to the law and prevented overloading their trucks, the country could save up to $58 million annually in road repairs.

He said two of the challenges facing proper upkeep of roads were an increase in the number of commercial vehicles and less resources available for road repair.

Director of Legal Services for the Ministry Marvin Gonsalves said there was a proposition to increase the fine for overweight truck drivers from $750 to $5,000 as well as introducing a merit system, in which drivers found with more than ten strikes could possibly have their driver's permit suspended for a period.

After the public presentations, Sinanan, staff from the ministry and contractors held a closed-door consultation for the remainder of the meeting.

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