THE Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) is being accused of creating havoc on Bejucal Road, Chaguanas, and residents are threatening to protest to bring attention to its deplorable state, caused by leaking pipes.
The Chaguanas West residents claim while water is wasting by the hundreds of gallons, many taps are dry and homes are without pipe-borne water.
They said intervention by their MP, Dinesh Rambally, has not yielded any results. But Rambally said he has written to WASA CEO Alan Poon King, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Kazim Hosein and Works Minister Rohan Sinanan since early December, but is yet to receive any acknowledgement.
Sinanan has acknowledged that leaking lines contribute to poor roads, many of which fall under the purview of his ministry.
Hosein said he did acknowledge the letter from Rambally and forwarded it to the Chaguanas Borough Corporation, but was not certain if or what action was taken. He said he would follow up.
Rambally said since his previous letters outlining the seriousness of the situation did not get the courtesy of a response, he is making another, public appeal.
“Failure to respond to complaints could spark a public protest by residents in the full glare of the media,” he vowed.
He said the water leaks at LP 81 and 82 Bejucal Road continue to undermine the structural integrity of the major road, used by hundreds of vehicles daily, which has now extended to great damage to property.
Accusing WASA of causing an “immoral wastage” of water by addressing the leaks in a piecemeal manner, he said he could not understand the authority’s rationale for media campaigns to conserve this previous commodity.
“Thousands of citizens still depend on a truck-borne water supply or must store rainwater in barrels while millions of gallons are squandered by the leaks in Bejucal.”
He pointed out that heavy vehicles exceeding the five-tonne limit are a major contributor to damaging underground pipelines, but enforcing the law is a problem.
Rambally said residents have been calling without success for signs at the corner of Bejucal Road and the Uriah Butler Highway, warning of the vehicle weight limit and the penalty for flouting it. Under the new traffic regulations, the fine for an overweight truck is $2,000 and it can accrue demerit points.
Rambally is also calling for a retaining wall along the Bovell canal where the bank is rapidly being eroded. He said this will further undermine the road and also create a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
He said these infrastructural problems needed urgent attention from government agencies as they were of serious public health concern and transgressed residents' constitutional rights to enjoy their property.
He urged WASA and the ministries to take advantage of the dry season to do the repairs.