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Residents protest the deplorable road conditions along the San Francique Main Road, Penal, on Saturday.

Fourteen days! That’s the deadline given to Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan yesterday by protesting Penal residents to repair the roads in their community. Marching with placards from a landslide at La Fortune Pluck Road to a major landslide at San Francique Main Road, Penal, scores of residents, several with placards, called on the minister to urgently fix their roads.

Warning that the protest was the start of the October Revolution announced recently by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissesaar, San Francique/Avocat North councillor Doodnath Mayhroo called on the minister to repair the roads and address flooding issues within the constituencies of Oropouche West and Fyzabad.

“There were too many protests here that the Government has paid no attention to, today we start the October Revolution in Avocat/San Francique in the constituency of Oropouche West and Fyzabad. If the Government does not attend to our issues with landslips, flooding and road issues, we are calling on them to resign and call fresh elections,” Mayhroo charged.

Calling specifically on the minister to step down if he does not address their concerns, he said, “If he feel that Barrackpore and Moruga was bad we are sending a warning that it going to be ten times worse than that if they do not respond to the cries of the people today.”

He said a major landslip occurred along the San Francique Main road within 48 hours and a T&TEC pole had to be relocated. “There are other landslips out the road there in the coming weeks people will not be able to pass. If rain falls this entire road, which is a main artery to Fyzabad and Siparia, will go away,” said Mayhroo.

San Francique resident Anarkali Deonanan, 83, pleaded, “We really need help. We need help.” Another resident, Kavita Arjoon said they are fearful that the entire road will cave. “It is a scary thing to be faced with because it just keeps going down so quickly because between Monday night today is Saturday the whole road is basically gone.” Complaining that her home now has cracks, she said, “We actually take our money and spend to fix our drainage in front of our house with my dad. He is now deceased. He spend his money and he fix this and to date, nothing was done to the pothole to be fixed. Now we are being faced with a landslip story,” added Arjoon.

Oropouche West MP Davendranath Tancoo said residents are patching the roads themselves and, as such, it is unfair for them to pay property tax. Accusing the Government of geographical discrimination against UNC-controlled constituencies in the South, he called on citizens to join their October Revolution.

Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe expressed disappointment that the minister has not responded to his request for the landslip to be repaired and called on him to urgently fix it. The police eventually dispersed the crowd and the residents returned to their homes.