A Palmiste couple, both retirees, are calling on the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC) to maintain an empty lot of land next to their house.
Newsday visited their home on De Montagnac Drive, Palmiste on Wednesday and was shown the empty lot of land which is overgrown with tall bush.
After maintaining the lot at their expense for several years, they are frustrated with the situation, which they consider a hazard.
The couple, who did not wish to be identified, told Newsday, “We used to try to keep the grass low, but it’s getting out of control and it’s difficult for us to find people to maintain it.
“It’s becoming difficult to maintain the lot. We are retirees and it’s financially difficult,“ the wife said.
“It’s a dumping area for things like tree branches. We also get snakes, rats and mosquitoes. I’m just totally fed up.”
Since the couple moved into their home over 40 years ago, they said the lot of land has never been occupied.
Not knowing who owns it, the couple said they have spent money over the years to maintain it.
They claim to have made several reports to the PDRC but no action has been taken.
“We have made three requests and complaints to the PDRC about the situation.
“All they told me is they can only serve notice to the owner of the empty lot of land, but this was almost two months ago and I haven’t seen anyone visit the lot.”
Apart from the lot next to their house, the couple showed Newsday another empty and unmaintained lot behind their house.
The couple say that lot is under the jurisdiction of the PDRC, which has neglected to maintain it.
When Newsday contacted chairman Dr Allen Sammy, he said he wasn’t aware of the couple’s situation and will contact them.
However, Sammy explained it’s not a situation where the corporation can just go onto an empty lot of land and clean it.
He said the corporation will have to liaise with the Ministry of Health to deal with the issue of overgrown lots, which can be a breeding ground for pests like mosquitoes and be a health hazard.
“While the other 14 municipalities have the authority to deal with such situations, mine doesn’t.
“Our procedure for that is not as simple, because we have to tell the Ministry of Health, and the ministry would normally serve them (the lot’s owner) a notice and tell them there is a nuisance.
“People presume that we (the PDRC) can just go in and clean somebody‘s lot and just charge them. They mix up what we do with Port of Spain, San Fernando, Arima and so on.”