Ratiram upset at Sinanan over drains

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Couva North MP Ravi Ratiram. – File photo

COUVA North MP Ravi Ratiram was visibly frustrated at Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan in the House of Representatives on July 1 over apparent delays at upgrading road drains in his constituency. Ratiram posed three questions for oral answer.

Firstly, he asked when would the underground drainage along the Couva Main Road be desilted.

Sinanan replied tenders were being prepared for the work to progress, subject to funds being available.

A dissatisfied Ratiram asked why all this had not been done before.

Sinanan replied that his ministry’s Drainage Division and Highways Division have done 1,000 projects.

With reference to the Couva Main Road, he said, “All can’t be done at the same time. It will be done.”

Ratiram pressed Sinanan for a commitment to expedite this process, given the current hurricane season, but Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George considerations of a time line were answered in Sinanan’s original answer, so the supplemental was out of order.

Secondly, Ratiram asked when would Waterloo Main Road be repaved, and the earthen drains along the road be upgraded to concrete box drains.

Sinanan said the road under consideration ran from St Mary’s Junction to Carli Bay Road.

“In January 2024, via the Caroni District the ministry undertook a spot-patching exercise using 30 tonnes of hotmix to repair the critical road section.

“A sectional milling and paving contract was approved to be executed in this fiscal year, subject to the availability of funding. The tender documents are currently being prepared.”

He said the provision drains for the Waterloo Main Rd would be assessed under a nationwide study roads that was now under way.

Ratiram said poor drainage would compromise any road works, but he was reined in by Annisette-George telling him not to make statements but just as his question, which he then did. Sinanan replied tenders were being prepared and the job would proceed when funds were secured.

Ratiram said, “Honourable Minister, you have been the minister for the last nine years and up to now we are still waiting for this work to be…”

He was interrupted by noises of exasperation from an “offended” government MPs.

Thirdly, Ratiram asked would the earthen drains along the Southern Main Road, Edinburgh, Chaguanas be upgraded to concrete box drains?

Sinanan said an assessment was under way or that job, to get the most feasible solution.

However, Ratiram shot, “With the greatest respect, you have doing that assessment for the longest while!”