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Sinanan: Ministry grappling with 850 landslides

Published: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

While this year has been riddled with protests over poor road conditions, many caused by slipping land, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan says the ministry is grappling with 850 landslips.

Noting the ministry’s goal is to fix 20 landslips per year based on a priority list, Sinanan yesterday said many citizens may have to withstand their cases for years.

Sinanan made the comment as he responded to concerns raised by protesting Lengua Road, Princes Town residents. He between Divali and Christmas 2017 alone there were 21 new landslips in just one area which was brought on by severe rain. They have been added to the ministry’s Bridges and Landslip Programme for repair.

He said the soil type between Princes Town and Moruga was loose and easily washed away, adding to their woes in the region.

Yesterday, engineers visited the site of the landslip where Khamraz Ali and his family had to flee their crumbling home in order to assess the damage.

Sinanan said temporary work was expected to begin today to ensure the road was passable, but there was no time given for the start of stabilisation work, which would be vital for Robin Singh’s home, which has begun to crack.

“What had happened there was that there was a WASA leak and that would have caused the landslip. WASA removed the pipe and put it above the road, so now the ministry is going to do temporary work and then we will have to add it to our Bridges and Landslip Programme for a permanent solution,” Sinanan said.

“We have to do a geo-technical study and we have to do a design and those things take some time to get done. In that part of the country we are having a challenge with the soil, but we have several projects going in that area. There is the Moruga Road Rehabilitation project and we have others that have not yet started.”

While agreeing it is the Government’s responsibility to maintain public infrastructure, Sinanan said people also need to obey the Town and Country Planning Act, which requires citizens to get approval before constructing buildings. In several areas along the Moruga Road, land cleared for houses have slipped in the past and Sinanan said basic construction requirements, like installing guttering and drains, were being ignored.

“Everyone wants a home and you can’t be upset with people, but we have to pay attention to the laws. We can’t allow people to build anywhere because you see what is happening.”

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