Councillor Arlene Ramesar-Solomon (right) wears tall boots to explore the pothole at Camden Road in Couva dubbed the “the Mother of All Potholes”, on Saturday. Looking on are Councillor Allan "Taxi" Seepersad and MP Rudy Indarsingh. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)
SHASTRI BOODAN

Member of Parliament for Couva South, Rudy Indarsingh MP, is encouraging motorists to take legal action against the Ministry of Works for damages to their vehicles incurred by hitting potholes.

On Saturday, MP Indarsingh and councillors from the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation (CTTRC) visited what is being dubbed the “Mother of All Potholes”, at Camden Road, Couva.

“In addition to the state of the roadway,” MP Indarsingh said, “we have been getting complaints about burst tyres, bent rims, damaged front ends, axles. The wear and tear is real. I am encouraging constituents and the public at large to send me copies of their bills in terms of their expenditure, in terms of the conditions of these poor roads, and I will explore with lawyers the possibility of initiating a class action suit against the government,” he declared.

“People cannot continue to pay taxes at the pump for the benefit of fixing their roads and be treated like this,” he asserted.

The pothole is at least two feet deep in some areas and there is a narrow strip of remaining roadway that barely allows one row of vehicles to pass at a time on what is a very busy road that connects to the Southern Main Road, the Camden Heliport, the Camden Airstrip, the Couva Hospital, Rivulet Road and the highway. The problem has existed for at least two months and is only getting worse.

Couva South MP Rudy Indarsingh speaks with Guardian Media on Saturday, 21 August 2021, at the pothole at Camden Road in Couva dubbed the “the Mother of All Potholes”. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Indarsingh told Guardian Media consumers are paying a Road Improvement Tax, but the monies are going elsewhere. The Couva South MP said he has written to various Government ministers about the problem.

“This can be dubbed the ‘Mother of All Potholes’,” the MP stated.  “This morning I want to ask the Minister of Finance, what the finance ministry is doing with the monies he collects at the pump. We continue to hear about the government spending $5 billion on COVID relief, and what is happening to our road infrastructure?” 

MP Indarsingh believes the monies are being spent on everything else but road repairs.  He said the CTTRC has not gotten any of the $12 million allocated for road repairs. 

Councillor for Carli Bay/Calcutta/McBean on the CTTRC, Allan “Taxi” Seepersad, said the CTTRC has no money to buy materials. He said the road is the responsibility of the Ministry of Works.

“However, if the Corporation had any materials, it would have gone into the ‘Mother of All Potholes’,” he told Guardian Media. 

Councillor Seepersad said he had been begging the authorities for help.

“If they bring back the monthly recurrent funding, we can give some assurance that we can do some work on those roads,” he said.