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Dislocating the Drainage System of Caroni
Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014

By Stephen Kangal
July 11, 2014

The villagers of Caroni welcome the dualing and upgrading of the Old Southern Main into a highway from the Caroni Bridge to Ibis Gardens to deal with the high density of traffic that causes massive congestion. But what onerous and destructively punitive price are we being asked to pay for this improvement in terms of potential flooding during the rainy season?

With the help of the media flooding was eradicated in Caroni beginning 2005 by the establishment of the embankment on the Caroni River from St. Helena Bridge to the Butler Highway Bridge.

Blocked Drains

Several of the drains of this effective existing drainage network are being indiscriminately blocked to make way for the highway. Did the Works Ministry apply for and was granted the requisite Certificate of Environmental Clearance (CEC) after conducting the compulsory meetings with the residents of the five villages to receive inputs and concerns and to inform them of the plans for the establishment of the highway? No!

Blocked Drains

The current approach of the Project Team presiding over the construction of the highway appears to be foolishly based on treating with/conducting WASA and rainfall water exclusively but completely oblivious to the greater threat of flood waters coming from an overflowing Caroni River. Were this to occur, God forbid, the Caroni villages will be inundated and marooned for weeks because this new elevated highway will obstruct the south-ward run-off with limited and destroyed drainage channels. In fact a moat is being established around the Caroni Police Station under the guise of a drainage channel.


I still think that there is time for the Works Ministry to hold meetings with the residents, treat them with respect, bring them up-to-date with the details of the highway, show them how their lives will be improved and not be subject to the ghosts of previous flooding events.

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