BAD roads, landslips, poor water connection and flooding were just some of the issues raised by residents during a tour of areas in the La Horquetta/Talparo constituency by its MP Foster Cummings on Wednesday.
Cummings, councillor for Longdenville/Talparo Ryan Rampersad and engineers from the ministries of Rural Development and Local Government and Works and Transport drove from Todds’ Road to Brazil, assessing existing infrastructure and the needs of the residents. Cummings said this initiative will continue in other parts of his electoral district as part of a drive for improvement and development.
“I have started meeting with the councillors, those representing the UNC and the PNM to make sure that we have full coverage of the constituency. The election is done, and it is now time for representation.
With a lack of funding being a major issue cited by regional corporations for project delays, Cummings said his intention is to get the maximum amount of funding released to avoid similar situations in his district.
He said, “Following this tour, engineers will be able to recommend some of the remedial action required and that flows into the estimates. It is only then we will be able to determine what we are able to do.
“I can only speak to what will happen and not about what happened in the past. We do have a budget very shortly and after it is passed, we will move to make sure that releases are done on time to ensure that works are completed.”
Councillor Rampersad said the major issues in the electoral district of Longdenville/Talparo was infrastructure, which has had a negative effect on the burgesses.
“We have a shared responsibility between central government and local government. We development to our infrastructure, sporting facilities and a solution to the flooding.
“Whenever it rains, it floods. De-silting and de-grassing of the watercourses is very important, but this has not been happening for a while. Special attention and assessment are needed on the Caparo River. Rampersad said bad roads have resulted in transportation woes for both people using private and public vehicles.
He explained that because of the dilapidated roads the Public Transport Services Corporation (PTSC) was forced to cease operation of the Chaguanas to Talparo route.
“With the bus, it would have taken about 40 minutes on this route at a cost of four dollars, otherwise the alternative is to into Arima then Curepe and then Chaguanas at a cost of $33 which takes over two hours of travel time.
“In the current economic situation, this travel arrangement will be very difficult for many. It was important to have the MP see the challenges and we hope he will lobby to get the road paved, so we can resume that bus service,” Rampersad said. He added that a simple a labour force with the necessary tools and regular work can mitigate the drainage challenges faced in the communities.
Resident Dabie Basdeo said she and her family have been living at Todd Station Road for over 40 years and she fears her home will collapse because of land slippage behind the house.
“The problem started about five or six years ago when the land behind the house started slipping into a watercourse that was not being maintained. When they (authorities) started laying water lines the road began to collapse. Yet, we only get water once a week. There are now cracks all over my house, my yard is slipping into the road and the road is slipping also,” Basdeo said.
Cummings assured her that the matter will be addressed after the assessment was completed. “You can be assured that the contractor will be back on site.
The engineers have indicated that they were aware of the situation, so it was just a matter now of getting the contractor back on site to complete the work and that was in the making.”