WORKS and Infrastructure Minister Jack Warner yesterday apologised to residents protesting the poor state of the roads in east, central and south Trinidad.
Warner said the ability of his Ministry to respond to the needs of constituents, was being stymied by shutting down and auditing of the Ministry's Programme for Upgrading Road Efficiency (PURE), the unit responsible for road repaving and repair projects.
Warner agreed that people were suffering and that help had been slow in coming.
The road protests continued in Moruga villages yesterday where residents are demanding that landslides be repaired and roads resurfaced.
Warner spoke with reporters at the Chaguanas Borough Corporation yesterday after attending a programme to empower rural women hosted by the Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development.
He said: "I empathise with those people who are protesting. They have grievances and many of them have high expectations. And in some ways, we have not met the expectations, and they are protesting".
Warner said, "After all these years waiting to get benefits, they believe we are moving too slowly. But I want to apologise, because I have not been able to go as quickly as I can, because of the fact that PURE have not been resolved fully as yet. But I am quite sure in the interest of time this will be done and when it is done we will begin afresh".
Warner said as an interim measure, he was making provisions to have some roads "patched" until further notice.
He said he intends to meet with the Members of Parliament for the various before he can address the situations.
Clifton De Coteau and Suruj Rambachan, the MPs for Moruga and Tabaquite, the scene of fiery protest this week, are out of the country.
Warner said, "I will deal with it (the protest). I am making some overtures in terms of patching the roads and hoping that this will serve in as short term measure until the roads can be fully paved and drains can be put."