After years of neglect by the PNM Government the People of Couva North are fighting back and winning!
The Roopsingh Road Bridge was one of many infrastructural issues affecting residents of Couva North for quite some time. It is located by the nationally important tourist sites of the Hanuman Temple, the Indo-Caribbean Heritage Museum, and the Temple in the Sea.
Roopsingh Road is a major thoroughfare connecting the Couva/Pt. Lisas community to Chaguanas. The Bridge along this road over time eroded at its base by the high volume of water flowing through, especially during the rainy season.
This is part of the PNM’s neglect of infrastructure and flooding, causing untold damage to our development.
In October 2021, Couva North MP Ravi Ratiram made specific mention of this Bridge during the deliberations of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, when the Draft Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Local Government came under review.
In addition, the Roopsingh issue was also raised at the Local Government level within the Couva Tabaquite Talparo Regional Corporation by Councillor for the area Mr. Dubraj Persad.
After all their requests for the Government to fix the bridge were ignored, Couva North constituents took their plight to the national community on Saturday 23rd October 2021, by holding a peaceful demonstration highlighting the impending collapse of Roopsingh Road Bridge.
This was one of the activities of the People’s Revolution (click here to see the timeline of protests)
MP Ratiram, Local Government Councillors and residents warned the Government that should the bridge collapse, it would pose a serious threat to the thousands of motorists and their passengers who navigate this route on a daily basis.
Two days after the demonstration, the hole that was visibly present in the middle of the bridge was superficially paved.
However, no attention was paid to the underlying problem of the eroding foundation. Consequently, on December 17, 2021, the Roopsingh Road Bridge collapsed.
The road was made impassible. The inconvenience to residents was severe, as it occurred in the midst of the Christmas season, not to mention the resulting traffic congestion for motorists who were forced to navigate alternative routes.
On December 19th, 2021 MP for Couva North, Ravi Ratiram, issued a press release calling on Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein to stop the spiteful abandonment of the people of Couva North and fix the Roopsingh Road Bridge.
MP Ratiram, CTTRC Chairman Henry Awong and Councillor Dubraj Persad continued their pressure.
Due to their persistence, on December 29th a temporary Bailey Bridge was located by the Ministry to be used on site. This bridge was installed and commissioned on Tuesday January 11, 2022, giving some much needed relief to the residents and motorists alike.
At the commissioning ceremony, MP Ratiram said that it was due to the power of the people that caused the swift work of all those involved in presenting the new bridge but noted that it was only a temporary solution.
He therefore called on Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Kazim Hosein to work towards a permanent solution in the shortest possible time. MP Ravi Ratiram also asked that the Minister pay heed to other stalled infrastructural projects within the constituency such as the Ragoonanan Rd. West Bridge and the Randy Carter Bridge, both of which present a serious inconvenience to residents of Couva North.
In congratulating the residents for their continued support of the UNC’s People’s Revolution, MP Ravi Ratiram invited the national community to do likewise in continuing to hold the Government to account for their stewardship over the country’s resources.
– Ravi Ratiram, MP for Couva North