Red House south chamber leak repaired

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Red House, Abercromby Street, Port of Spain. Photo by Jeff Mayers

The leak in the ceiling of the south parliament chamber of the Red House that disrupted the budget debate in the Senate on Tuesday has been repaired.

When Newsday contacted the chairman of Udecott, Noel Garcia, on Friday, he said aninvestigation had been completed and maintenance work carried out on the source of the leak.

Newsday was told the leak had been caused by water coming through the dome in the south chamber.

Garcia claimed the media had sensationalised the leak, saying, “Quite frankly, it was in fact an insignificant amount of water.”

“If you looked at the television, it was just two drops. But the way the papers portrayed it was like a flood of water gushing through the roof.”

Garcia compared the maintenance issues in Parliament to those faced by homeowners.

“Sometimes you may have to change a bulb or fix a cupboard handle. Things go wrong from time to time,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Senate sitting was temporarily suspended because of the leak.

It began while Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox was delivering her contribution, in a speaker’s booth near the government benches.

Cox stopped and looked at Senate President Christine Kangaloo, saying, “I am getting wet.”

Kangaloo then told senators the sitting would be suspended for ten minutes.

When the sitting resumed, government senators had to make their contributions from their seats.

Opposition and independent senators made their contributions from a speaker’s booth behind their benches, as is the norm during the covid19 pandemic.

When Newsday visited on Friday, three men were seen on the roof of the south chamber who appeared to be doing maintenance work.

One man was holding a hose and washing around the windows and roof, while another was inspecting the grey drainpipes on and around the roof.