Henry Awong, Chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation.
RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

Chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation, Henry Awong, is angered, fed up and frustrated with the constant bashing levelled against him and his corporation whenever flash flooding and other issues arise, some of which he claims falls under the Ministry of Works and Transport.

And he notes the situation is worsened by the lack of clarity over who has jurisdiction over what areas, in addition to the Corporation not getting the funding it needs to get the job done.

Awong’s statements stemmed from a video showing residents having to come out during the inclement weather on Tuesday morning along the Preysal Road, to clear water and create drainage for run off of the excess water on the roadway.

Awong said the road shown in the video falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Works.

“I’m extremely fed up and tired of my corporation taking a bashing for things that fall under the responsibility of the Ministry,” Awong complained.  “The Ministry of Works is not cutting the road verges; they are not building outlets for water to run off.  You have to cut the grass and build outlets and shovel it out so the water will run off the road and that is what the guys were doing this morning in that video.”

“They do nothing. So, anytime I have my regional coordinating meeting and note that lately they have not been coming, their claim is they have no manpower because the teams’ strength are seriously dwindled and there are no replacements. The Ministry has not filled the vacancies for years,” Awong added.

The disgruntled Chairman added that there are a number of areas that they are bashing the corporation for, including along the Couva Main Road, with its footpath covered with grass.

“They’re bashing the Corporation.  There is a pothole down in Couva called the Mother of All Potholes.  They’re bashing the Corporation.  Brasso Venado, which is a main road almost impassable, and it falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Works and nothing doing. So, what is the Ministry of Works really doing?” he demanded.

Awong stressed that the bashing is coming from everybody, including residents and burgesses.

He said in the past, he had called on Minister Rohan Sinanan to intervene, but to no avail.

“We had toured the constituency of Tabaquite one time with the Minister and pointed out areas that we wanted fixed and repaired; nothing was done,” he recalled.

Awong also lamented that the Corporation is not even receiving funding to repair equipment:

“So when I have to take on all this other responsibility that doesn’t fall under our jurisdiction and we’re not getting resources for it, it is a burden on the corporation and we have to take the bashing.”

Awong also alleged that when people write letters to the Minister about issues, he directs them to the Corporation.

“That’s what we’re dealing with. So, it’s a total failure.  All the roads, the main roads bad and what’s under our jurisdiction we’re not getting the resources to repair and maintain so I am in pain. I sympathize with the people, I know what they are going through because I have to drive on the same roads,” he pointed out.

Awong said he intends to pen a letter to the Minister in the hope of getting the required assistance and having jurisdiction issues sorted out.