Despite multiple warnings from authorities, residents of Bamboo #2 in Valsayn are close to completing the construction of a security guard booth for their community.
As a result, drivers attempting to traverse the Bamboo Main Road at the entrance of Bamboo #2 may soon be met with a security checkpoint as businessman and community activist Inshan Ishmael said the booth should be completed this week.
Speaking to Guardian Media via phone yesterday, Ishmael said residents are following their lawyer’s instruction “to proceed”.
The guard booth is intended to act as a deterrent to criminals attempting to access the community as Ishmael said residents were frustrated over a spate of robberies and extortion attempts happening this year.
He said residents can no longer watch their families and businesses be attacked.
“Villagers met this (Sunday) morning to clean up the area around the guard booth. They also met to finish off some minor work on it. Some painting was done. The ceiling is presently being put on and the roof is finalising right now. Things are moving apace and the preparations have been put in place as well for windows and doors to come tomorrow (Monday) so, we’re expected to be completed by about Tuesday or Wednesday including the barrier as well. So, things are progressing,” he said.
He added a T&TEC report is expected to be done on the booth.
“We had a visit yesterday (Saturday) by T&TEC who told us that they got a report that the roof was very close to one of the lines and T&TEC sent an engineer. The engineer, well he came and he laughed and he said that he does not know what they’re talking about because the roof is very far from the line. They (T&TEC) took their photos and they are going to do their report,” Ishmael said.
However, the chairman of the Tunapuna-Piarco Regional Corporation Josiah Austin said residents were given two violation notices over a week ago and urged not to proceed with the booth.
Speaking to Guardian Media via phone yesterday, Austin said residents were given a 14-day notice to comply with its building guidelines if they wished to proceed.
But he said if the rules are not followed, the corporation will have to act.
“We gave the issue two violation notices and we actually went a step further in actually giving them correspondence … we gave them two pages, the CEO did so, and that was issued to them outlining the process which is a process other persons elsewhere have taken for the same purpose. We would have also given them 14 days to correct or to come in, but to date nothing. So, I think we’re just about one week and some days in so we will just wait and see what will happen after those 14 days,” Austin said.
“They know what they should do so we will just wait to see what will happen here. As a corporation, as a council, our CEO, the staff, the technical department, we are not going to allow wrongdoing to continue … I know the Ministry of Works (and Transport) have an issue with regards to the space, and we (Tunapuna-Piarco Regional Corporation) have an issue with regards to the location of the structure. We have been making visits, so I know the technical department heading by the CEO has been (using) due diligence and we will see what happens from here,” he added.
Austin said the corporation has also noticed a recent trend in nearby areas of people erecting guard booths but it was not something that is encouraged by the corporation. Officials from the Ministry of Works and Transport advised against any vending taking place in the area.