AFTER $229 billion, four budget presentations and a fifth pending, Opposition MP Rudranath Indarsingh said his constituency of Couva South has had no positive benefit.
He said there is a sense of hopelessness and frustration as education, health and road infrastructure, have all collapsed under the present administration, while his constituents are under siege by crime.
At a pre-budget consultation where constituents were given an opportunity to raise troubling issues on Tuesday night at Caldrac Cricket Club Hall, Railway Road, Couva, calls were made for the 14 landslips in the Indian Trail area to be immediately repaired.
Focusing on the paucity of health care in the country, constituents also advocated for the opening of the Couva Children’s Hospital and for new primary and secondary schools to be built.
A University of the West Indies student from the Faculty of Agriculture appealed for government to provide incentives for young people to develop the food sector and grow the local economy, saying, “From a road infrastructure point of view, the roads are in the worst condition that I have seen in the past 28 years. From the southern main road starting from St Mary’s Junction to Savonetta Junction near the Couva South fire station, it’s like driving through an obstacle course.
“It’s a similar situation from Brechin Castle to Phoenix Park Junction – the worst roads ever.”
He said Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan visited the problem roads and although promises were made to repair them, there has been no improvement.
In response to complaints about shortages of places in primary and secondary schools owing to an explosion of housing in the area, Indarsingh said government had not seen the necessity of building new schools. In addition, he said, existing schools desperately need repair.
“The Sonny Ladoo Early Childood Care centre, which was near completion when the Kamla Persad-Bissessar government demitted office, is now a shell. It is overrun with grass and vines. The plumbing and electrical infrastructure have been ripped apart.
“I have written two letters to Education Minister Anthony Garcia about drugs selling at the schools, teacher intimidation, gangs, destruction of school furniture and general violence, but the minister is yet to even acknowledge my letters. Education is in a state of collapse in Couva South.”
Constituents also told of difficulties in accessing CDAP medicines, blood tests and basic services at the Couva District Health Facility. The issue of long waits for beds at the San Fernando General Hospital and the recollection of a Balmain resident who died in a chair while waiting for a bed there fuelledd calls for the opening of the children’s hospital.
“While my constituents are crying out for bed space and basic services, a hospital with bed space and state-of-the-art equipment remains closed,” Indarsingh lamented.
On the spate of crime, he said every single village in his constituency is under siege.
“Constituents are terrorised, traumatised and violated in every form and fashion. Promises by the prime minister for joint army/police patrols have not materialised. Neither has the promises of 100 municipal officers to assist the TTPS."