One gas station is just not enough
Two scores and one decade ago—when I believe it was normal to see horse carts and donkey carts and bull carts traverse the Naparima Road through Princes Town, when bicycles were still a popular mode of transport for lots of commuters, when pedestrians chose to walk to and from the town to save a dollar, no, the ten cents fare the few taxis operating the roads then charged, Princes Town (and environs) was served by seven gas stations.
Today, 12 years and a new millennium later, and with the volume of vehicles having increased by what? hundreds of thousands? there are now one and a half gas stations in this same area. So what we have in Princes Town today (and whenever there is a shortage or threat of a shortage of gas) is a traffic gridlock of the proportion of the day the earth stood still. Why? Because from all the cardinal points—east, west, north and south—all traffic is concentrated in and out of the one gas station that has a supply of fuel at this moment.
If Ancel Roget and company want to get a feel of how successful their hijacking of the country is, all they have to do is make a trip to Princes Town and see the havoc, the chaos, Princes Town is for commuters. They might not win the war from a national standpoint, but in this battleground they have triumphed; they could raise the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union flag—only because NP or whomever is responsible for the decentralisation and dispensation of fuel is doing so without a rational understanding of the demographic and geographic realities of the country.
Princes Town is a catchment area for so many far-flung communities that it would take a page to list it, and it would be indulging those getting paid to do the ground work and are not doing it.
Fact is, this is a prolonged war of attrition that has been going on for eons now between the OWTU, the Government and the people of T&T; and one, from the way it looks, that might last longer than the Jewish-Palestinian war in the Middle East.
So what do we do? How do we try to win that war? For the people in Princes Town, just rebuild, restore, refurbish all those gas stations that were there when carts outnumbered cars and when private enterprise flourished in this line of business.
Only then could we tell Mr Roget and company where to get off.
L Siddhartha Orie