The partially submerged water taxi, Carnival Runner, in the San Fernando harbour. (Image: IVAN TOOLSIE)

One Opposition Member of Parliament is asking whether the sinking of the Carnival Runner water taxi may be happening because of a failure to adhere to proper maintenance protocols and schedules.

According to Pointe-a-Pierre MP, Dr David Lee, the Minister of Works and Transport must come clean with the public on why such a “critical asset” in the national transportation network has wound up in such a state.

“The rate at which this multi-million-dollar vessel was sinking suggests that the vessel encountered a major problem with its Hull or some other related issue. However, problems such as these are usually detected through proper, timely and adequate maintenance,” MP Lee writes in a release issued this morning.

He adds: “Today as the country stands to lose one of its most critical assets key to the traveling public, the question must be asked, is this vessel sinking due to poor maintenance and upkeep by those in authority?”

MP Lee asserts that the Works and Transport Minister must be held accountable for what has happened.

“Given that each year this Minister is allocated millions of dollars for the maintenance of these vessels, he must now tell the population when last this vessel was placed in the dry dock for repair. He must tell the population when last this vessel was sufficiently inspected for safety measures as we have seen in the video that some of the glass windows of the vessel have been replaced by plywood, highlighting the possible neglect of the vessel,” the Opposition MP stated.

“This matter must not be taken lightly or swept under the carpet as is the norm of this administration because had this occurred while in use or with passengers onboard, lives could have been lost. As a result, we demand answers on the cause of this mishap and a proper contingency plan of what measures would be implemented to ensure that there are no hindrances to the travelling public who utilise these services,” he said.