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Water flows again after Penal protest

Published: 
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
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Amputee Seemungal Bhagwandass and his neighbours protest over the lack of pipeborne water in Penal, on Monday. Photo by:RISHI RAGOONATH

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Water is being restored to some parts of Penal following Monday’s fiery protests.

Guardian Media was informed that parts of Clarke Road, Penal received water yesterday while other areas including Teemul Trace and Naipalia Trace were expected to receive water today.

Since May, residents have been complaining about dry taps, saying they have to pay as much as $600 for a truck-borne supply.

On Monday, several people including amputee Seemungal Bhagwandass joined in protest by lighting tyres at the intersection of Clarke Road and Teemul Trace. The residents vowed to take their protests outside the office of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley if they did not get water.

Bhagwandass, who suffers from a series of medical complications said he was fed up with having to bathe with a jug of water.

“We deserve to have water just as the President deserves to have water. This is wrong. We cannot live without water and they are suffering us,” he said.

Another resident, Kissoon Tulsie, said since May, areas including Naipalia Trace, Naipalia Branch Trace, Satnarine Trace, Teemul Trace and some parts of Clarke Road did not have water.

Accusing the Water and Sewerage Authority of playing politics with water, Tulsie said under the former government they had pipe-borne water on a 24-hour basis.

“Now we cannot get water not even once per week. We are not asking for much. All we want is water once for the week,” Tulsie added. He said the Clarke Road Water Treatment plant was located about a mile away and despite this, they were unable to get water.

“We have been calling WASA on a daily basis. Our bills are up to date. Why can’t we get water,” Tulsie said.

Another resident, Sarojanie Teeluckchan, said she has been forced to go by relative’s homes in Freeport, Chaguanas and Princes Town to wash clothes.

“It is unfair because I don’t owe a single cent to WASA. Why are they suffering us for water,” she asked. Teeluckchan said their protests was a last resort as they had been calling WASA for weeks.

“Every-time we call we have to listen to the disgusting recording for half an hour and if we do get through they tell us we have to wait our turn. They say water will be distributed within three to five working days. By then we have no choice but to buy water,” she added.

Asked how they were coping for water, Teeluckchan said some people who could afford it have been paying between $400 to $600 for a tank of water. Others have been depending on rainfall to get water.

Councillor for Penal Shanti Boodram said at a regional coordinating meeting recently, WASA officials said a pump at the Navet Dam had broken down.

“I want to know if it has been repaired. The last information we had was that water will be sent to the district by tomorrow,” she added.

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