TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Due to lack of proper roads residents stage fiery protest - EntornoInteligente / News day / The affected villages are represented by People’s National Movement (PNM) Member of Parliament, Fitzgerald Jeffery, and borders the constituency of Siparia which is represented by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.

They complained that road paving stopped at the end of the busy thoroughfare which leads into Jeffrey’s constituency. Early morning commuters yesterday using the Siparia Erin Road ran into the fiery protest which began at about 6 am and blocked four parts of the main road leading in and out of Siparia.

Hundreds, including school children and workers, trying to get to their respective destinations were stuck for hours in the massive traffic pile-up — many turned back. The protest continued for over five hours under the watchful eyes of police officers.

Speaking on behalf of Palo Seco Village Council, Linda John, said residents were fed up after months of complaints.

“The road is really in a bad state and taxi drivers are complaining about their vehicles being damaged” John told Newsday. “Concerned residents came to us as the village council seeking our intervention, and today they have decided to protest, to bring the matter to the attention of the relevant authorities.” Area Councillor Arlene Ramdeo who was also present further told Newsday, for almost five years they have been crying out for better road conditions.

Ramdeo said, “It is perceived by all that an injustice has been done to us by the prime minister, because the paving stopped at the end of her constituency, and from Quarry Village, we have all the bad roads now.

Ramdeo explained that Jeffery had penned numerous letters to the Works and Infrastructure Ministry pleading for better conditions, but it has fallen on deaf ears.

In an interview Jeffery who visited the area told reporters it was discrimination against his constituents since the paving of the roads from Siparia which stopped at Quarry Junction, just where the PNM La Brea constituency began. He said, “Something has to be wrong, it is real wickedness and vindictiveness to the people of that area.”

Appliances from the Siparia Fire Station put out the fires while equipment from the Siparia Regional Corporation removed debris from the road in order for traffic to flow freely.

Works Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan told Newsday that the affected roads are on a list for paving and work will be completed by the end of March. Rambachan said, “In the second-quarter of the fiscal year we had planned to pave it and that is closer to the end of March. We are aware of the condition of the roads.”

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