So said Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, yesterday, as he visited the Arouca/Maloney constituency and other areas along the East-West Corridor as part his countrywide tour.
He has already been to nine constituencies and is expected to complete the other 30 in Trinidad in the ensuing months.
Sinanan was accompanied by Planning and Development Minister and Arouca/Maloney MP Camille Robinson-Regis and officials from PURE (Programme For Upgrading Roads Efficiency).
“What we have on the East-West Corridor is a lot more flooding problems now. The reason for that is because of the amount of new developments that taking place. A lot of the developments now are happening on the hillsides and those developments are causing problems downstream,” Sinanan said.
He said the existing infrastructure along the corridor was not built for the increasing number of developments in the region.
Sinanan, who listened to the complaints of residents, said the drainage division of the ministry needed to be more stringent in handling developers, especially in the area of water retention.
“So, what we are looking at now basically, is putting in some retention ponds as we go along because the amount of water coming out and the size of the developments, the infrastructure really was not built for that,” he said.
Sinanan observed that pipes also were running through and under bridges.
“Maybe in the past the water flow may have allowed that. It is just not going to work now,” he said.
“So, it may mean that we have to ask WASA (Water and Sewerage Authority) to come a relocate some pipes and all that so at least we can clear under some of the bridges.” Asked what has been the major issue he has encountered during his visits to constituencies, Sinanan said: “Different areas have different problems. On the East-West Corridor, basically what we saw is flooding.” He said several squatter developments also had sprung up in the D’Abadie/O’Meara constituency “So, you have a lot of people building on the river banks and watercourse banks and I saw a place where there was a commercial building with the foundation in the river just to expand on the land size.” Saying that flooding and road rehabilitation were among the issues plaguing Arouca/Maloney, Sinanan said the assured that the problems will be fixed in the shortest possible time.
“We looking at the jobs and prioritising them to bring the most relief to residents. We are looking at what could be done immediately so we can get it done immediately and then as funding comes available, then you programme the more major projects,” he said.
Sinanan observed some areas had pavements but no roadway.
“I am wondering, no houses and no road but pavement, why are we wasting money in areas like that.
The idea now with the funds flowing in the way that it is, we have to make sure that wherever we spend money, we actually get value for money.”