RURAL Development and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi has said that his ministry has not received road-paving or repair requests of behalf of Frederick Road, Hindustan, as well as eight other communities.
He was responding to questions from Moruga/Tableland MP Michelle Benjamin in Parliament on Monday.
Benjamin asked when paving and repair work would begin at Frederick Road.
But Al-Rawi said the ministry had not received any requests for work to be done there, so an update could not be provided.
Benjamin asked again when work would begin there.
Al-Rawi repeated his previous answer, adding that he hoped he had "assisted the member in the plain English language."
Benjamin began to respond to his "English language" comment and raised her hand towards Speaker Brigid Anisette-George to allow her to continue.
But Anisette-George said, "Please don't (do that gesture or) tell me to hold on. You not flagging down a taxi here."
Benjamin then asked if there were no requests from her office, or if there were no requests from the Princes Town Regional Corporation or Ministry of Works.
Al-Rawi said Benjamin was a "very industrious letter-writer," adding that she wrote to his ministry tmore than all the other UNC members. He added that the PNM probably wrote more letters to his ministry than her.
He said he was confident in his answer that the ministry did not receive any such requests and added that he always answers Benjamin's phone calls, which, at times, are at midnight.
Government members expressed shock and disbelief, some saying, "She calling you at midnight?"
Al-Rawi continued, "Just pick up the phone and send me the information and I'll happily assist."
He said if the Opposition supported local government reform, members would not have to "harass" him.
He said requests for repairs at Glod Road and Mc Tooliah Road in Tableland, as well as McNish Road in Hindustan, Princes Town and Third Company Road at Indian Walk in Moruga are being addressed.
However, he told Benjamin he has received no such requests for Marac and La Lune, Sixth Company, Douglas Trace, Cunjal North Road, Harper Trace, Warwell Road, Knutt Pond Trace and Loney Road.
He added that Realize Road in Princes Town falls under the Ministry of Works and Transport.