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Caroni East MP Dr Rishad Seecharan

Bavita Gopaulchan

Flooding has been a perennial problem for the people of Caroni East.

That’s according to newly elected Member of Parliament for the area, Dr Rishad Seecharan, who is hoping to bring relief to residents.

Dr Seecharan, a newcomer to the political landscape, told Guardian Media for years residents of Caroni East have been begging for a solution to the floods.

“Last week Friday we had thundershowers and there was severe flooding in a number of houses on Chin Chin Main Road as well as Mt Plasir Road and we had flooding in Welcome Road South,” he said during a telephone interview.

Noting that most of the communities in Caroni East stretch across the Caroni River Bank, Dr Seecharan explained it only takes a few minutes of rain for homes to begin flooding.

He is reminded of the catastrophic 2018 flood in which hundreds of thousands of dollars in properties were damaged. The MP said while no lives were lost then, there is no guarantee what will happen in the future. He hopes the government will be proactive this time around as he indicated, like his predecessor, he would only be able to do so much.

“Firstly, we need work to be done on the watercourses which need to be cleared and dredged, the bank needs to be reinforced,” Dr Seecharan stated.

In addition, he said plans to initiate a recycling drive for residents so that garbage stays out of the drains and into the bins.

Dr Seecharan, a dentist by profession, replaced Dr Tim Gopeesingh as the UNC’s choice in the 2020 General Election.

Dr Gopeesingh last week announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 leaving many to speculate whether others on the UNC’s campaign trail were infected.

However, Dr Seecharan said while the source of transmission is not yet known, he can confirm that Dr Gopeesingh did not attend any of his election campaign activities.

According to him, “The thing about Dr Gopeesingh is that we have to ascertain when he got infected and that would be something the Ministry of Health will have to do but, from the onset of symptoms, in most cases, you would count back five days and that will be roughly the time a person would be affected and that does not necessarily have to mean that was during the election campaign.”

He suggested, “He could’ve actually gotten it while at his private practice as a doctor and many people don’t understand that.”