large pothole

in need of repair: A large pothole is seen along the Piparo Main Road.

THE Guaracara Tabaquite Road has so many cracks, crevices and craters that some say it resembles the moon’s surface.

Along the 14-kilometre route, from Ben Lomond and into the Piparo Main Road, the Express counted no fewer than 316 potholes.

This number does not include potholes that line secondary roads such as Pasqual Trace and Wilson Road.

The deterioration of these roads is more than an inconvenience to people who live here.

It is an enormous burden.

A taxi-driver told the Express re­sidents think of the roads in the area with anger.

“This real disgusting. Do you know how many times these potholes nearly mash up my car? It’s like they don’t think of us as people so they never fix it,” he argued.

Last week, the Ministry of Works and Transport announced the initiation of its road rehabilitation programme, in the face of discontent surrounding the condition of many roads in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Express report on the road repaving plan drew largely negative responses from readers on social media.

Steffii Baldeo Ramrattan wrote in a Facebook comment, “What about the Guaracara Tabaquite Road from Williamsville Junction to Norman Junction, Gasparillo? That road definitely need to be paved as well and I am positively sure many others who own vehicles and have to travel that road daily would agree with me on this.”

Kerry Le Gendre wrote, “Pascual Road Piparo inside Gransaul Trace is the worst when it rains, it’s impossible to even walk though and because of this there is no PTSC bus, school maxis or even taxis to get in or out of there.

“Most of the children drop out of schools because of this. There are hardly any jobs up there so people that have to work and do not have a vehicle are forced to mop drops from random strangers, putting themselves at risk for rape, kidnapping or robbery as it is a very rural area.

Other roads in poor state

Remarks like these were echoed by hundreds of commenters who mentioned areas they felt were in need of immediate rehabilitation.

These included the Cuna­po Southern Road, Valencia and Toco Main Roads, Joyce Road, Las Lomas and parts of the Naparima Mayaro Road.

Couva/Talparo/Tabaquite region­­­­­­al corporation chairman Henry Awong noted that maintenance of the roads in question is the responsibility of the Ministry of Works and Transport.

“The repair and maintenance of that road (in Piparo) does not fall under the purview of the regional corporation but the Ministry of Works and Transport. I am aware of how bad the roads are in Piparo and we have been trying to get it fixed, but there’s not much we can do.

“The last time it was fixed was in 2012, under the then-minister Jack Warner. Prior to that, it was impassable. It has needed repairs for the longest time,” he said.

The Express contacted director of the ministry’s Programme for Upgrading Roads Efficiency (PURE) Hayden Phillip and was told the repair of this area fell under the Highways Division of the Ministry.

The Express has attempted to contact the Highways Unit, as well as Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, but was unable to get an immediate response yesterday.

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