Indarsingh briefly evicted from Parliament following argument with Gonzales

Home*Cover Story*News

Indarsingh briefly evicted from Parliament following argument with Gonzales

UNC MP Rudy Indarsingh was evicted from Parliament for five minutes on Friday after clashing with Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales on water issues.

This occurred when Gonzales answered Indarsingh’s queries on the water supply for Calcutta Nos. 1, 2, 3 and other surrounding villages being subjected to a one in every nine-day water supply schedule.

Gonzales said a policy decision was taken that where there was need to adjust water schedules to impose more restrictive conditions in light of changing supply conditions, “… No adjustments would be made to schedules in areas in receipt of a level of service of 24/3 and under. This includes areas in Couva South, which receive a one in every nine-day water supply schedule.”

“However, areas with more consistent and regular supply may experience some curtailment to allow for more even distribution of water,” Gonzales added.

The minister said the situation was beyond WASA’s control, as Desalcott’s reduced capacity also affected many areas, but noted work was being done with Desalcott to provide Couva South with a more reliable supply.

However, Indarsingh claimed WASA had collapsed under Gonzales’ leadership, and asked if he was satisfied with that.

Gonzales said WASA had not collapsed but the “UNC has collapsed” and Indarsingh’s “penchant for bacchanal and confusion has collapsed.”

Indarsingh retorted, “Incompetent! This isn’t bacchanal …!”

The Couva South MP was rebuked by House Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George, who requested he desist, and amid his continuing protests, asked him to take a “little five-minute walk outside and come back inside.”

She noted he had put his microphone on deliberately to be heard.

Indarsingh left with another warning, but returned after five minutes to present another query to Gonzales on dry season water supply schedules.

Gonzales noted that at the onset of the 2023 dry season, T&T experienced higher than normal levels of rainfall, assisting reservoir levels to remain close to average in the first three months.

“Therefore, it wasn’t necessary to implement water restriction schedules then. However, now, as the dry season enters its peak, reservoir levels have begun to decline below long-term averages, particularly at Hollis and Navet, with levels falling to 42 per cent and 51 per cent respectively, as compared with 58 per cent and 63 per cent. “

With WASA’s dry season supply schedules on, Gonzales added, “To minimise the impact of dry season conditions on WASA’s customers, a decision has been made that for the remainder of the dry season—until end of June—all domestic customers, who receive a scheduled pipe borne supply of two days or less per week, can place a request for a truck-borne water supply, with all conditions waived for same.

“No matter their financial standing with the authority, all domestic customers will have access to a truck-borne service at no cost to them.”

Truck-borne service can be requested through the WASA Services App available via the Play Store or Apple store; or the Customer’s Portal available on the Authority’s website: Alternatively, customers requiring direct assistance or further information can contact WASA’s Customer Call Centre toll free – 800-4420/26.