Residents do own repairs after road caves in

Vil­lagers of Spring­lands have used mounds of stone and grav­el to cre­ate a tem­po­rary pas­sage­way along the col­lapsed Up­per San Fa­bi­en Road which caved-in fol­low­ing heavy rains last week.

How­ev­er, they are re­new­ing their call to Works Min­is­ter Ro­han Sinanan to in­ter­vene now and as­sist the Cou­va/Tal­paro/Tabaquite Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion in build­ing a re­tain­ing wall to pre­vent fur­ther slip­page.

Since Fri­day, vil­lagers have been un­able to use the road. Many parked their cars and walked for some 1,000 me­tres down the bumpy hill to get to work.

Res­i­dent Sean Williams on Mon­day said over the week­end they gath­ered stones them­selves and cre­at­ed a tem­po­rary pas­sage­way.

"At least our cars are pass­ing but it is still dan­ger­ous and we want the Min­is­ter to do some­thing," Williams said.

He added that the elec­tric­i­ty pole along the road­way was al­so lean­ing pre­car­i­ous­ly.

The ero­sion was high­light­ed by the T&T Guardian last month but since then more than three-quar­ters of the road has slipped in­to a precipice, pre­vent­ing all ve­hic­u­lar ac­cess. Al­ready, one house has been se­vere­ly dam­aged by the ero­sion.

Vil­lager Pa­tri­cia Williams said more than 100 hous­es are now cut off. She said many res­i­dents lost two days of work last week af­ter heavy rains caused the road to slip.

An­oth­er res­i­dent, Wendy Mod­este, said she was wor­ried about school chil­dren.

"The road is not safe. Chil­dren pass with a maxi taxi to get to school and that road could eas­i­ly cause the maxi to tip over," Mod­este said.

Mar­sha Daniel said un­der her home was al­so erod­ing be­cause of the land­slip. She said the sit­u­a­tion was get­ting worse and their cries for help were falling on deaf ears.

Con­tact­ed yes­ter­day, Cou­va/Tabaquite/Tal­paro Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion chair­man Hen­ry Awong said he was aware of the prob­lem.

"That is a big project. The coun­cil­lor, Pooran Suresh Ma­haraj, will de­ter­mine whether he pri­ori­tis­es that for his area de­pend­ing on how much it is go­ing to cost and how many peo­ple will ben­e­fit. I will con­tin­ue to fol­low up and see how best we can get as­sis­tance for the peo­ple," he said in a tele­phone in­ter­view.

Awong said the road falls un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the cor­po­ra­tion.

"If ex­tra fund­ing is need­ed it will come from the Min­istry of Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment and Rur­al De­vel­op­ment but we will ap­pre­ci­ate if the Min­istry of Works can lend some as­sis­tance as well," Awong said.

Mean­while, res­i­dents of Tor­tu­ga al­so com­plained that a land­slip was threat­en­ing five hous­es in the area. A land­slip was al­so re­port­ed at Tin Pan Al­ley in Bar­rack­pore. Al­ready, one fam­i­ly has been evac­u­at­ed due to safe­ty con­cerns.

- by Radhica De Silva. Photo by Rishi Ragoonath.