With at least ten homes destroyed and others under threat, including a temple, due to deplorable road infrastructure, residents of Sahadath Road, Princes Town, protested int he streets on Saturday morning.
Calling for the road and landslips to be repaired, the residents said they are fed up and frustrated. “The Government is not helping. The UNC is handicapped so it is left to us. While we are not in favour of violent confrontation, armed protest, we hope that the Government will heed our request and come and assist here because it will be left to us, in our own hands,” said Arjoon Teeluck, secretary of the Realise/Mandingo Community Council. The deplorable road condition, which has led to high vehicle maintenance, has also caused the taxi fare to triple.
“People cannot travel. Old people cannot go to the hospital and the health centres to get their medication. They have to pay exorbitant prices. In some cases, we have to hire a vehicle to take us to Lengua Health Centre to get our drugs.” He said the ambulance also takes longer to respond to an emergency in the area because of the bad road.
“We have people dying because the ambulance taking time to access (the area), to leave come in and go out…” he claimed.
Since their pleas for help, written and verbally, have fallen on deaf ears, the residents said they are going to try prayer. “We were planning to do a pooja tomorrow for Rowley and Rohan Sinanan. We were planning to do a pooja for them tomorrow to see if we could get some assistance.”
Another resident Taradath Bridgemohan who lost his home said over 200 residents are affected. Noting that work was currently being done along the nearby Lengua Road, he said the community has been neglected for over 40 years.
Noting that Sahadath Road leads to Moruga and Barrackpore, he said Mandingo Road has already been closed due to a landslip and if Sahadath Road closes residents may have to walk to Princes Town.
Lengua/Indian Walk Councillor Rajesh Lal said the Princes Town Regional Corporation does not have the funding to undertake the repairs to Sahadath Road. The corporation’s technical team estimated that it would cost roughly $2 million to repair the road, he said, but they do not have the funding. He said over a year ago the corporation requested special funding from the ministry to do the project but received no response.
He said, “If the Central Government gives us the money we are willing, we are capable, we will get the job done.” Lall, however, said he was able to get some cold mix to undertake repairs to an area along Sahadath Road.
Contacted for comment vua WhatsApp, Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan did not respond.