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A house at Mandingo Road, Princes Town which has been destroyed and continues to slide down hill because of the landslide.

The Ministry of Works and Transport has a record of 186 major landslips throughout the country. According to Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan, it can only do as much as the country’s finances allow.

Sinanan responded to Guardian Media’s query on a major landslip that had already destroyed one house and damaged three others along Mandingo Road, Princes Town. Yesterday, residents protested the continued eroding of the land, saying that it also affects businesses in the community.

Speaking by telephone, Sinanan said engineers visited the site yesterday as the ministry moves to shore the landslip to prevent further damage and make a portion of the road passable in the short-term.

Sinanan said Mandingo Road and surrounding areas are prone to landslips because of the clay soil type.

“We have a lot of landslips under repairs, and a couple of them are in the design phase. The ministry has been there on several occasions, and we will do some temporary shoring up of the roadways. We will work to get at least one lane passable to get the roadway functional,” Sinanan said.

He said that coming out of the 2020 rainy season, this year’s dry season continued to create challenges, especially with heavy rainfall last week. Explaining that many roads run along ridges, he said there will be slippage over time. Asked if the stabilisation work would protect homes that already suffered damage, Sinanan said the work would only protect the roadway.

“People are supposed to build their houses with proper engineering design when building on a ridge. The ministry cannot get into the design of houses. Our duty is to protect the roads.”

In a media release yesterday, the Ministry of Works said that subsequent to the closure of the road the Highways Division began undertaking the necessary technical investigations to determine a permanent solution to stabilise the failed slope and to reconstruct the roadway. In the interest of the safety of motorists, the ministry said the public can use alternative access routes via Realize Branch Road and Sahadath Road.