A Barrackpore couple has taken the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) to court after a burst waterline caused cracks to their house and led it to slip from its foundation. Chandra and Reuben Ramgobin, of Lot 47 Tin Pan Alley, are seeking compensation from the authority.
Their claim was filed in the San Fernando Civil Registry by attorneys Abdel and Shabanna Mohammed, and has been assigned to Justice James Aboud. The Ramgobin’s claim that on September 20, 2018, a WASA line in front of their house burst and gallons of water were gushing from a crack in the road.
They said they called WASA several times to report the leak, which continued for 12 days, before a crew came and repaired it. According to their claim, during the 12 days before the repairs, they saw cracks to their house. In particular, the main entrance step had cracked and shifted some six feet; the entire front of the house also shifted and there was cracking on the foundation; all 11 columns of the house cracked and shifted; a water tank shifted and the back steps also had cracks and separated from the house.
Electrical lines were also being pulled downwards and the couple said they were told by the TT Electricity Commission that the property was at risk of being a fire hazard.
They have hired an engineering firm, RM Engineering Ltd, to assess the property and according to a report they have included in their claim, the there was no structural issues prior to the leak. The engineers said the house is unsafe for occupation and the family can no longer live there.
The Ramgobins are now renting. They are asking for $1.9 million in compensation to cover the cost of demolishing the house, stabilising the landslip and reconstructing their home. Their case will come up for hearing on April 20.