Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 10th 2017 Contents A8 news
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
No steam for
It was business as usual across the
country yesterday as reports of a
planned shutdown fell flat.
Workers across the country turned
out for work despite social media re-
ports that the country's main road
arteries would have been blocked in
protest against the increase in taxes
announced in last Monday's budget.
Although there was a heavy police
presence on the Beetham Highway,
the T&T Guardian was told that this
had nothing to do with any planned
protest. One Beetham activist said
contrary to what had been put out on
social media "nobody planned any
protest here on the Beetham that is
totally untrue and unfounded."
There were reports of roads being
blocked in parts of south Trinidad
between Rio Claro and Mayaro, but
the early morning roadblocks were
cleared and business was not affected.
Only at one school, the Ecclesville
Primary School, TTUTA President
Lindsay Doodhai said the teachers re-
ported that they were unable to get to
class because of roadblocks. Doodhai
made it clear that TTUTA "did not ask
any teachers to stay away from work
because we are not in support of the
call to shut down the country."
NATUC President Watson Duke,
who also leads the Public Services
Association, said he did not know any-
thing about any shutdown. He said as
far as he knew the majority of public
of icers were out to work.
President of the Downtown Own-
ers and Merchants Association Greg-
ory Aboud con irmed there was no
impact of any call for a shutdown
and "everything was proceeding as it
normally would on a Monday in Port-
of-Spain. Businesses in Port-of-Spain
reported that workers had shown up
for work and operations were not af-
No one could say who initiated the
call for the shutdown, which was cir-
culated on social media on the week-
Bad roads, budget woes
spark Rio Claro protest
Rio Claro residents barricaded
major access roads yesterday in
protest of dilapidated roads and
austere measures in the 2018 na-
tional budget, disrupting com-
mercial and industrial activities
in South East Trinidad.
Villagers used tree trunks and
used tyres to block the Napa-
rima/Mayaro Road in Agostini,
Navet and along the Cunapo
Southern Main Road.
Protestors set their barricades
ablaze, illing the community
with thick black smoke.
The protestors, some of whom
held up placards that described
the ruling People's National
Movement as failures, called for
a change of government and the
return of former prime minister
Kamla Persad-Bissessar to power.
Chairman of the Mayaro/Rio
Claro Regional Corporation
Glenn Ram said that from what
he learned, the protest was over
the budget and the state of the
A major landslip along the Na-
parima/ Mayaro Road, Agostini
was one of the major highlights
of the protest.
Ram said he visited the area
along with Works and Transport
Minister Rohan Sinanan earlier
this year and was given a promise
that it would be repaired soon.
With the constant and heavy
rainfall, he fears that the road
might wash away soon.
"If the rain continues like how
it has been falling recently, the
road will be impassable and pub-
lic transport, including the buses,
will not be able to pass.
Of icials from Ministry visited
Agostini but they have done noth-
ing. Nothing is happening with
this highway they want to build a
highway to Sangre Grande.
"The Naparima/Mayaro Road
is in a deplorable condition and
it is the main link from Rio Claro
to Sangre Grande. Also, a lot of
people in the comm
unities protested against meas-
ures in the budget, especially the
increase in gas and diesel fuel.
People in these areas depend on
a lot on public transportation.
There will be a ripple effect and
they will not be able to afford to
go to work or send their children
to school," Ram said.
However, councillor for Ma-
yaro/Guayaguayare Kyron James
said one of his constituents was
in tears this morning when she
attempted to attend a clinic for
She was able to pass through
Sangre Grande after the road was
James believes that the protest
was politically motivated.
He said that while citizens
have the right to let their voices
be heard, they should protest le-
Burning debris along the
Rio Claro during a protest
by residents yesterday.
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