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Tableland residents burn tyres, block road in protest

...primary school shut down

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

THE Robert Village Hindu School was shut down yesterday, as residents burned tyres and blocked the only access road to the school.

Holding up placards, residents appealed to the authorities to repair the one-mile-long road.

A portion of the road is being paved by the Princes Town Regional Corporation.

But residents argued that the entire length of the road was in need of repair.

Resident Charles McCarthy said, "If they can't pave the entire road, don't pave any. You cannot cut the road in half. The entire road is bad and the corporation came in and started working on half of the road, that is not fair."

The residents blocked the entrance of Robert Village North Road with burning tyres at around 6 a.m.

Police removed the debris, but residents burned more tyres on the roadway.

McCarthy said pupils were unable to attend classes and motorists were unable to enter or leave the community.

"This is not politics, it is about people's lives. We have about 100 people asking for better road conditions. The corporation playing games with us. We live in the second half of the road and that needs to be paved too," he said.

Local Government councillor Gowrie Narine Roopnarine said he was aware of the residents' concerns.

"I was trying to explain to them that we are doing the road in phases. The first half of the road is being done by the Princes Town Regional Corporation. The funds we have can only allow us to complete half of the road. That part of the road includes the primary school and I am told that about 500 vehicles use that road daily. So we decided to do that area first. I know that the road is in a bad state," he said.

Roopnarine said Minister of Works Emmanuel George has agreed to assist in completing the second phase of the road. "The estimates have been submitted and I believe work will begin soon," he said.

McCarthy, however, warned that if the authorities refuse to listen to their plight, the protest would move to the Naparima/Mayaro Road.

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