Tancoo appeals to MOWT to have boulders cleared from Godineau River

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Tancoo appeals to MOWT to have boulders cleared from Godineau River

MP for Oropouche West Dave Tancoo is appealing to Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan to have his Ministry immediately clear the strewn boulders that have dislodged from the base of the new bridge at the entrance to the Gulf of Paria.

In a media release on Monday, Tancoo noted that these are some of the maintenance works to the watercourses in South Trinidad that he previously highlighted, which the Government is yet to undertake.

The boulders which were set at the base of the pylons of the new bridge have over time become dislodged and are now dispersed throughout the river, over a hundred feet away from where they were originally placed. The Opposition MP says that there are multiple videos recorded by private citizens which are on social media for all to see, emphasizing the gravity and extent of the issue.

Tancoo says that in the first instance, the boulders need to be cleared and re-inserted around the footing of the bridge, in order to preserve the integrity of the infrastructure in the long-term. He said that the distance the boulders have moved shows that there has been no maintenance of the waterway, something which he has called upon Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan to address on multiple occasions.

“If these boulders remain in the river, any debris that is carried along the river will be lodged against these rocks, impeding the free flow of water and resultantly backing up the river causing severe flooding to the surrounding areas of Woodland, Penal, Barrackpore, and Oropouche”, Tancoo asserts.

The Oropouche West MP also highlighted the immediate problem that the boulders are causing. “Currently, at low tide, no fishing boats can even think about crossing the channel. Even at high tide, fisherfolk are taking a serious risk navigating that section of the waterway, because of the size of boulders in the river itself, that have been causing damage to fishing boats and their engines, breaking rudders and propellers, which fisherfolk are not being compensated for.”

Tancoo is once more calling on Minister Sinanan to urgently address this matter in time before the rainy season begins. “Despite pleas from the MP, Councillors, residents and community activists, the government has refused to use the dry season to undertake critical clearing of water courses and repairs to the banks of the various rivers in the Oropouche basin, putting entire communities at risk of major flooding when the rainy season starts in a few weeks.

The two Ministers in the Ministry of Works have arrogantly disregarded meeting with affected residents, community activists or their elected representatives. I hold both Minister Rohan Sinanan and Minister Richie Sookhai personally responsible for the massive flood threat and the damage to homes and livestock that will confront citizens as a result of the heartless refusal to treat with the obvious problems. The solutions are known. They are not new. What is needed is an end to this geographic discrimination by these Ministers.”