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Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan

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Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says his Ministry stands ready to assist residents of Houssa Trace whose lives are hampered by a collapsed bridge in their community.

On Saturday, the residents lit tyres and rubbish across the road in protest, saying that farmers could not get their produce out while an ambulance could not respond swiftly to help a pregnant woman because it had to take a lengthy detour.

It led Councillor for Caratal/Tortuga Jenna Lee Ramoutar-Ramsaroop to call on Sinanan to bring relief to the residents by installing a bailey bridge. Ramoutar-Ramsaroop said the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation did not have the funds to repair the bridge.

But Sinanan told Guardian Media yesterday the Councillor should know that there is a process to follow. He said the Ministry noticed local government representatives instigated several recent protests. He said they are fully aware that if a regional corporation cannot afford a project, it can write to the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government for assistance.

“I cannot recall anything about this bridge coming to my office. Even so, there is a process and if the Ministry of Local Government needs assistance, we collaborate with them from time to time. All the Councillor has to do is go through the Corporation and write to the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government. The Councillor should know better,” Sinanan said.

On Friday, a truck damaged the aged, wooden bridge. Residents said they are now forced to make a five-mile detour to get to Claxton Bay and Mayo.