Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Save Lady Young Road


Mark Fraser

There are two main arterial roads from the east leading into Port of Spain. They are the Beetham Highway which in part looks like a slum. And the other, the once beautiful Lady Young Road, which is fast becoming another slum.

Every few kilometres, heading west along the Lady Young, there is a new dirt road being opened up leading to a squatter’s shack, garage or shop.

How could this happen so openly for all to see and those in authority seemed totally indifferent to those people who are illegally grabbing land, opening road and carrying on construction, including driveways and footpaths along this once beautiful mountain road from the Lookout to the city?

Who is responsible for the protection and preservation of the Lady Young Road which is now becoming unsightly as trees are deliberately chopped down, and the hills bulldozed?

And, in not all instances, are they all poor squatters seeking to build a shack to call their home because it must cost a small fortune to hire the tractors and bulldozers, and the trucks to remove and bring gravel and asphalt, which the curious passerby can’t help but notice operating along the Lady Young Road.

If a class of citizens can burn rubbish to get the government’s attention to attend to their needs, then right-thinking citizens who love their country must also demonstrate against this willful destruction of this beautiful road into the city.

They must demand that the authorities put an end forthwith to these illegal activities by removing every single squatter—rich or poor—who has illegally occupied lands on the hillsides of this roadway.

The authorities should put up iron barriers to permanently close off entry into the side roads and immediately begin restoration of the Lady Young Road by undertaking a massive tree-planting exercise.

Unless the authorities act swiftly, don’t be surprise that besides the ugliness which is now taking shape along the Lady Young Road, that parts of it come tumbling down on people living in either the Belmont side or St Ann’s.

And besides, the Lookout is fast becoming another vendors’ mall—with no running water and toilet facilities—which should not be there anyhow.

The Lookout was built so that people can park their cars and enjoy the spectacular view of Port of Spain and the surroundings. The vendors, however, are gradually mushrooming onto the parking lots.

It is the same thing happening at the Lookout on the way to Maracas Bay.

When are we going to take decisive action against illegal vending popping up all over the country?

S Mohammed

via e-mail