THE MINISTRY of Works and Transport will continue to pump out the water currently covering parts of Abattoir Road, Port of Spain, until a permanent solution can be achieved.
Ronald Alfred, deputy permanent secretary and director of Maritime Services at the Ministry of Works and Transport, spoke with Newsday about Abattoir Road on Tuesday. He said the immediate objective is to remove the water to "alleviate the strain it is causing on the motoring public."
Abattoir Road has seen water levels rise to almost impassable levels since last Wednesday, owing to the frequent and sometimes prolonged rain, with water backed up because the drains are clogged. Traffic entering the city from the east then backs up as a result.
"As you can see, the pump is working, and our intention is to pump the water into another pond in the area and that should (reduce) the water on the road, and then we can address the long-term solutions to the problems we're facing," Alfred said.
The same pumps are used to alleviate flooding on South Quay, a short distance away.
"We're aware that there are some drains that are clogged and we will be working in the coming days to bring some relief to the public in their regard."
The Defence Force Engineering Battalion and representatives of the Port of Spain City Corporation, including mayor Joel Martinez, were on site on Tuesday to assist with transport and equipment and offer their expertise. Works Minister Rohan Sinanan was also present.
Alfred said the main issue was the blockage of drains running along the Eastern Main Road, which carry water across the Priority Bus Route, under the Central Market, to a pumphouse at Abattoir Road.
"Somewhere along in that system, we have some blockages at this time that, in addition to the rain, have caused the situation we have at this time."
He said it was difficult to estimate when the drains will be cleared.
"I would like it to reach a reasonable level by around 4 pm when the public begin to traverse.
"The intention here is really to relieve the immediate issues for the public," Alfred said.
No timeline was given for the "long-term solutions" or clearing the clogged drain.