A tree lies across the roadway after a landslide on Cumberland Hill.

Engineers from the Ministry of Works and Transport visited Cumberland Hill, in Diego Martin, yesterday to assess recent damage caused by landslides. According to Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan, a team is working on the issue and the damage to the hill is limited to one particular area.

While admitting that the issue could become serious if left unattended, Sinanan claimed, as things stand, it is not serious. He assured that the engineering team is fully aware of what repair work is required and said the issue will be addressed as soon as possible.

He added that the route to the hill is currently passable.

But managing director of Caribbean Lifestyle Communications Media Kiran Maharaj, who repeated her call for urgent action to be taken, said despite the minister’s claim that the route is passable, only small vehicles can access important communication infrastructure on the site. She said the vehicles used to refuel generators, repair vehicles and TSTT vehicles cannot pass through the access road.

“Work was done (by a private entity) to redirect drainage, as an interim measure. So, when the rain falls, it will not cause a constant washing away of the road because the road is on a hill,” Maharaj said.

This, she said, only offers temporary relief.

Maharaj said she hoped repair work by the relevant authorities, the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Diego Martin Regional Corporation will be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

However, she also hoped work on the site would not end after repairs to the area damaged by recent landslides are completed.

“That is just the immediate work. After this immediate work, there still has to be a rehabilitation of the hill. This is just step one. Step one is to get immediate access and the second step is what we do to fix Cumberland Hill,” she said.

“The road is being eroded from underneath and that is why two years ago, the Ministry of Works and Transport said it had to have rehabilitation.”

Key communication infrastructure used by national security agencies, ambulance services and several media companies is located on Cumberland Hill.

Long-standing drainage issues, illegal construction, illegal structures and bad weather have eroded land in the area.

A number of organisations, including the T&T Publishers and Broadcasters Association, have written to several ministries pleading for repair work to be done.