Phase Four of the Ministry of Works and Transport’s de-silting project has begun almost two months earlier than usual.
Minister of Works Rohan Sinanan said phase four of the annual drainage project usually began in mid to late July but the ministry got the final funding for that part of the programme, $15 million, from the Ministry of Finance on Friday. As a result, work began in north Trinidad from Chaguaramas to Valencia on Saturday. Work is scheduled to begin in south, central and east on Monday.
Speaking to the media after the launch of the Western Main Road Project at the Chaguaramas Bay on Saturday, Sinanan explained that phase one included the most critical areas and each successive phase addressed less vulnerable areas. He said a total of 400 projects were identified and phase four had 103 projects.
He said the ministry received an “earlier than normal” warning this year to anticipate more rain than usual so the de-silting of water courses and determination of necessary infrastructure work began earlier.
“This does not mean that we will not get flooding because we all know flooding has to do with the volume of rain and the capacity of the channels but what we’re doing is we’re trying to clean as much water courses as we can based on the funding available.”
He explained that there was a two-week delay when worked stopped because of covid19 restrictions but the ministry they engaged more contractors to make up for the shortfall. In addition, the ministry received permission from the Ministry of Health to do earth works on the major highways to take advantage of the dry season during restrictions.
Now, he said, the ministry had restarted all other projects including eight to ten bridges, coastal, road and other works.