Fed-up resident of rural Bon Air Road community, near Tamana, off Sangre Grande, vented their anger over collapsing roads by blocking roads and burning debris.
The action was triggered after an ambulance transporting a patient got hitched on a landslide earlier this week.
Yesterday, school children and workers were unable to get to their destinations as the main access road was blocked off. The road link the Guaico Tamana Road to Cumuto Main Road.
Residents said they have been fed up of promises and felt neglected after numerous complaints were made to the Ministers Rohan Sinanan and Robert Le Hunte, who had visited the district and promised to bring relief.
Shivan Salick, a resident of 47 years, said he witnessed the incident involving the ambulance on Tuesday after the vehicle stuck near a landslide. He said after several attempts by the driver failed, residents assisted in removing the ambulance which had to take a longer journey to get to the hospital. The residents complained that the patient could have died because of the time it took to get to Sangre Grande Hospital.
School children were at risk because of treacherous landslide and noted that many vehicles had skidded off the road in the past, luckily there were no serious injuries, said Salick.
Sean Williams, a taxi driver, told Guardian Media every week he had to repair his vehicle due to the dilapidated condition of the roadway. A maxi taxi driver said, “We just fed up. This is not about politics but about people lives.”
Resident Rasheed Khan presented several letters which were sent to the Ministry of Works, Sinanan and Hunte seeking help.
“The people are suffering and apparently no one cares about us,” he said.
Nirmal Singh, the local government councillor for the area, said he came to lend support to the plight of the residents as he too was tired of complaining and had no other option but to join the protestors to raise awareness.
Residents said they intend to continue their protest if they get no help from the Minister of Works.
In response, Sinanan said works at one of the major landslides along Bon Air Road will commence in two weeks.
He said when he toured the area in January he promised help but it took a little longer as a feasible study had to be done on the soil type, which is prone to erosion, and water-logging of the soil caused by ruptured water lines.
WASA intends to remove the pipelines away from the roadway to prevent further damage.
Sinanan said one of the landslides was repaired by two previous governments and the problem was not addressed.
- by Ralph Banwarie