Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales – ROGER JACOB
MINISTER of Public Utilities Marvin Gonzales has said workers from WASA, T&TEC and TTPost who seek to deliver a better service are facing problems entering certain crime hotspots, and must sometimes be accompanied by their company’s estate police or even at times by officers of the police service (TTPS).
He made the revelation in his feature address at the opening ceremony for the refurbished TTPost Delivery Office at the corner of Diego Martin Main Road and Covigne Road, Diego Martin, on Tuesday.
He said the country was grappling with a wave of violence, but public-utilities staff must still venture into various communities to give service.
Gonzales said areas in Carenage had a low water supply because WASA’s technical operators were largely afraid to venture into those areas, naming Scorpion Alley and Point Cumana. “They fear for their lives,” he disclosed.
Gonzales said T&TEC crews faced similar challenges to WASA, while saying these companies remained resilient.
“We congratulate the ‘posties’ for venturing into areas and still providing a service.”
He elaborated when speaking to reporters afterwards.
“Not too far away, in Carenage, we are challenged to provide a reliable water supply because some of the operators are afraid to venture into some of these communities – because of the crime situation – to turn on the valves, because of the escalating gang activities.”
He said such challenges were faced on a daily basis, with the utility providers partnering with local police.
“Just this morning I spoke to the WASA chairman. I told him we are going to have a discussion with the Minister of National Security and Carenage Police Station so that the utility providers can go out into the communities to provide the necessary services with the police in the respective areas.”
He said some areas where crime was affecting the delivery of public utilities included parts of Laventille, east Port of Spain, Cocorite, as well as parts of Carenage. Gonzales said he regularly receives reports on such incidents.