With rainy season right around the corner, the Member of Parliament for Couva North, Ramona Ramdial, is warning that flooding will plague her constituency again this year, unless two major watercourses are cleared of debris.
Speaking with the media on Tuesday at her Constituency offices at Chase Village, Ramdial said she has pleaded with Works and Infrastructure Minister Senator Rohan Sinanan to have both the Diana and Honda Rivers cleared.
The Couva North MP told Guardian Media that despite numerous requests to the minister, nothing has happened.
“Both rivers have not been desilted and therefore, we anticipate floods. I have written numerous letters to the Minister of Works and Transport over the past year,” she states. “I identified the specific areas, the outfall drains in the different areas within the constituency, as well as the natural watercourses. I have identified these watercourses for the Minister.”
Ramona Ramdial said the Couva / Tabaquite / Talaro Regional Corporation (CTTRC) is unable to undertake cleaning of the rivers since the CTTRC does not have the heavy equipment required for the job.
In response, Minister Sinanan said that contrary to the MP’s statements, the Ministry has been working on the drainage situation in the constituency.
“Works on the Honda River is scheduled in our Phase 3 on the desilting programme, which would start within the next week,” he confirmed to Guardian Media. “Works on the Diana River were completed in our Phase 1, from the Chase Village Triangle to the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall.”
He added: “There is also a construction project to complete walling and paving on the Diana River. Phase 1 was done back in 2014, and we are continuing from where it stopped. This project is downstream of the triangle for an approximate distance of 270 meters. It is in the vicinity of Bagna Trace Extension. The construction work started in January this year and is approximately 75 percent completed. It’s is walling on both sides of the channel and paving the invert,” the minister said.
The Couva North MP also told Guardian Media that she has been bombarded with calls from persons who are still awaiting salary and rental assistance grants from the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services.
Ramona Ramdial said she and local government councillors are working to source hampers from the business community for those persons most affected by the COVID-19 crisis.