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Project pressurefor Rio residents

I live on the southern side of the Rio Claro Recreation Ground where a project started on November 9.

The work being undertaken entails cutting the ground surface (approximate depth four feet) and widening it on the eastern and southern sides using the material which was cut from the ground surface (heavy clay).

With the recent rainfall the material that was used to widen the ground started to slide down the slopes towards my property and the neighbouring property, pushing down approximately ten huge, fully grown immortelle trees and six avocado trees which have fallen in a natural water course two metres wide by two metres deep. The slide has since totally closed the watercourse as the sides of the recreation ground keep continually sliding, depositing silt to fill the entire watercourse for a distance of more than 200 feet.

On the western side of the recreation ground the weight of the clayey material has led to the failure of a concrete retaining wall, forcing single lane traffic on the roadway (Nathai Street). This weight and additional pressure has caused the WASA line to burst approximately 14 times in the last month.

I informed the chairman of the Rio Claro Regional Corporation, Hasarie Ramdeen, of this development on November 1. I brought the councillor for the area, Zola Cooper, to my home on December 4 to see the problems we the villagers are facing.

The problems we have are: blocked watercourse; flooding; constant stagnant water in the watercourse and in our property perimeter; watercourse filled with silt; mosquito infestation; a pungent (stink) smell because of the stagnant water; damage done to crops as a result of the fallen trees. The eastern side of the recreation ground has also begun slipping, covering a larger area and posing the threat of further silting in the watercourse.

A visit was made with members of the corporation's technical team on December 5. On the following day two workers with a power saw came and removed one tree from the watercourse. On the December 9, I was visited by chairman Ramdeen and the alderman, Mr Boochoon, who give the assurance that the water course would be cleared on the following day with the use of the Regional Corporation's equipment. On December 24 the watercourse was still blocked and continues to flood the property of three householders.

The watercourse is now flowing through my property!

Chaitram Ragoobar

via e-mail

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