Residents cry for help: Fix Caratal Road

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FIX THIS ROAD: Resident Wayne Joseph looks at a section of the rapidly deteriorating Caratal Road on Monday. He and others are calling on the authorities to repair the road. Photo by Lincoln Holder

RESIDENTS of Caratal Road are pleading for help them repair a part of the road which has been steadily deteriorating since last year.

Eugene Findley, 73, said on Monday that over the last six months as section of the road which leads to the nearby Caratal Sacred Heart RC Primary School has become deplorable and virtually impassable.

He said numerous water leaks have happened along the road over time, causing the land beneath it to shift.

While the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has repaired the leaks shortly after they happen, Findley claimed the work has not been satisfactory.

He said because the road has numerous high and low points, it is difficult for vehicles to pass along it.

A female resident, who declined to give her name, agreed with him.

She said she has to wear flat shoes to walk on the road and even then, she is in danger of slipping.

The woman said when it rains there is a lot of mud on the road and this is particularly difficult for students trying to reach to the school.

She said residents have written to various authorities such as WASA and the Works and Transport Ministry but have not received any relief from any of them.

The woman also said residents sought assistance from their parliamentary representative, Tabaquite MP Anita Haynes.

Haynes confirmed this.

“We did a visit to the area and wrote several letters to get some work done. We also wrote with a specific request to give consideration to the school.”

In a signed letter dated October 28, 2022, Haynes wrote to Rural Development and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi about this problem.

“Over the last year, the landslip deteriorated further due to a water leak on the WASA mainline which was not properly repaired for several months.”

Haynes said she wrote to the Works and Transport Ministry about this matter in 2021, seeking their assistance with this landslip repair.

“However, no work has commenced to date nor has an update been provided.”

Haynes recalled an assurance given by Al-Rawi during a meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives last September “that a public map of requests as well as a project schedule will soon become available as a feature of local government reform.”

Haynes said she wrote to Al-Rawi on October 18, 2022) to have “this (Caratal Road) and other landslips included as priority projects on the 2022-2023 repair works schedule.”

She said the condition of the roadway has rapidly worsened resulting in public transportation providers refusing to drop students to school as well as the discontinuation of the PTSC (Public Transport Service Corporation) service.”

Haynes was concerned about the safety of children walking to and from the school.

“The situation has now escalated into a serious public safety hazard that is negatively impacting students’ access to education.”

Haynes was also concerned that if the landslip is not repaired soon, “vehicular traffic will soon be cut off.”