President Irfan Ali conducting an unannounced late-night inspection of pumps and sluices around Georgetown back in May
Accusing the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) of abandoning its duties, the Government has committed to supervising the functions of pumps and sluices across the city to decrease flooding during the rainy period.
“We will sit down, discuss, but as it stands now, we have implemented a system that where we have people manning or checking these places on a 24hr basis and we have real reports, fast reports, as soon as these pumps are not working,” Agriculture Minister with responsibility for the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) Zulfikar Mustapha said on Thursday.
He was at the time addressing the media after meeting with City Mayor Ubraj Narine. Mustapha was flanked by the Minister within the Ministry of Public Works Deodat Indar along with Local Government and Regional Development Ministers Nigel Dharamlall and Anand Persaud.
According to the Ministers, the Mayor was asked to better supervise his staff following a discussion at Cabinet level. However, Minister Mustapha said the Mayor took no responsibility for the lapses in the City drainage.
The Minister outlined that the central Government provided three pumps to the city in 2020 to increase its capacity to 12. It has also assisted in servicing sluices around the city and therefore cannot understand the increase in floodwaters on Wednesday.
He pointed out that there are instances where pumps are closed off early in the night despite high waters in the city while reports are not made when the pumps are non-functional.
“All those concerns were raised with the mayor just now and no response,” he said.
Mustapha added that “the Government is very concerned about the city…the amount of rain which fell yesterday should not have flooded the city if all of the resources given were used.”
Minister Dharamlall in brief remarks expressed concern that the M&CC is sabotaging the works of the Government.
But he said, “Our commitment to the citizens of Georgetown we will continue to work with the citizens to alleviate all of these problems.”
Several areas of the city have seen intense levels of flooding over the past two days and efforts are ongoing to ease this issue.