Posted on November 16, 2022
Caroni East MP Dr Rishad Seecheran is appealing to Works Minister Rohan Sinanan to prioritise the clearing of the Cunupia River.
In a statement, the MP said the watercourse is in need of urgent attention due to obstructions caused by failing infrastructure works and a lack of timely dredging.
As a result, he said residents and farmers have suffered losses over the past month following severe floods across several regions in the constituency.
The MP said he’s sought the intervention of the Minister on treating with the needed works between July 2021 and August 2022.
“These losses could have been averted if there were prompt remedial measures following my numerous letters to Minister Sinanan. I wrote to Minister Sinanan on 7th July 2021 and on 14th September 2021, with an accompanying petition from over 100 residents, pleading for quick action.
On 23rd August 2022, I took a Ministry of Works Official on a tour of the blocked watercourse. Regrettably, nothing of substance has followed from Minister Sinanan.”
Dr Seecheran questioned whether the same work that was done in Greenvale after catastrophic floods in 2018 could not be done in the area to prevent flooding.
He said: “It should be noted that after the in Greenvale, the Ministry of Works quickly reinforced levies and widened retention ponds, that have proved successful in protecting the community. Why has such an initiative not been forthcoming in the villages along the Caroni South Bank Road?
A major issue that directly contributes to the flooding is the construction of a retaining wall in the Cunupia River, which is connected to the Gandia River.
The retaining wall has severely narrowed the river, blocking the free flow of the watercourse. It can be seen from the eastern side of the bridge along the Southern Main Road, in the vicinity of Mohan Gas Station.”
The MP continued: “I strongly urge Minister Sinanan to carry out the required cleaning, followed by regular maintenance, to ensure there is no repeat of the devastation to properties and farmlands.
I also ask that Minister Sinanan do an evaluation into the retaining wall, to determine property boundaries, with a plan to rectify its position. I am available at the Minister’s convenience to accompany him to visit this site and to resolve this urgent public safety issue.”
Dr Seecheran said the Minister ought to be removed from his position within the Cabinet, should the pleas of citizens for flooding woes to be addressed, be ignored.