Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan said vandalism is a major issue affecting repair of several water pumps in the Bamboo Settlement, Valsayn. He said at least two pumps had been burnt, with government spending over $250,000 to repair them.
“In some areas, like the Bamboo area, there are elements, for some strange reason, whenever these pumps are working at full capacity, that go and vandalise the pumps. Two of the pumps at Bamboo site have been burnt, we have spent an excess of $250,000 to replace these pumps. The ministry has taken steps to look at security, we have lost pumps not only in Bamboo but also in the Port-of-Spain area.
“We are working with the police to safeguard these pumps. We have not only reported these pumps to the police on the days they were vandalised but the police, in at least one instance, have made arrests. It’s not just pumps, there’s also a problem with cables being stolen at this time. We have lost about four or five pump sites because of vandals in the area.”
Sinanan was responding to questions from Barataria/San Juan MP Saddam Hosein about the repair and replacement of floodwater pumps in El Socorro South.
Sinanan said there were two pumphouses in the area, at Sadhu Trace and Williams Street, both of which have two functional pumps and one non-functioning pump.
“Works commenced on the upgrade of the Sadhu trace pump house in January 2020, the scope of works includes the installation of one additional hydraulic pump and the construction of a new pumphouse. Works are ongoing and are 50 per cent completed. The target for completion is September 2022.
“The Williams Street pumphouse upgrade is currently being reviewed by a consultant as part of the initiative under the assistance programme by the Andean Development Bank of Latin America, and the scope of work is for the installation of two new electric pumps. This programme is expected to be launched in January 2023.”
Sinanan said the ministry hass embarked on a programme called the upgrade of existing pumps and gate inventory to ensure that every pumphouse has working pumps in TT.
The minister said as part of its 2021/2022 desilting programme, several drains in the Barataria/San Juan constituency had been cleaned.
“Work is being done in the Morvant Junction all the way to the Malick River, which takes the water to the Caroni River. Work has been completed in all these areas, including the Malick silt trap and desilting upstream, the San Juan River downstream, the Chattoo street collector drain, Williams Street in El Socorro, the Mullah canal, west of the Aranguez, collector drain between Williams Street and Sadhu Trace, and drains numbers five and ten, Sadhu Trace.”
Sinanan said the work was being carried out as part of the Drainage Division’s 2021/2022 desilting programme, which is carried out by district rather than by constituency.
“For the north division, 153 projects were planned and executed based on the availability of funds. To date a total of 97 projects have been executed over three phases, of which 63 are completed, 21 are ongoing, and 13 are to commence. For the drainage central district there are 106 projects planned and executed based on the availability of funding. To date, 54 projects have been executed over three phases, of which 28 are completed, 24 are ongoing, and two are to commence. Barataria/San Juan falls under both districts and has been included in the list of projects for execution.”