Siparia corporation complains again about lack of funding

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Councillors Doodnath Myrhoo and Chandra Ramadharsingh during a press conference at the Siparia Regional Corporation High Street, Siparia on April 8. – Lincoln Holder

Council members of the Siparia Regional Corporation have accused the Government of neglect, saying the UNC-controlled corporation does not have enough funding to serve burgesses properly.

Acting chairman Chanardaye Ramadharsingh and councillor Doodnath Mayrhoo pleaded with the authorities to fix outstanding problems before changing the corporation to borough status. They spoke a press conference at the corporation on Friday.

They said the corporation sent a proposal to the Rural Development and Local Government Ministry on March 22, requesting $7 million in additional funding.

The proposal is to be submitted for consideration in Mid-Year Review in Parliament.

“That amount is the shortfall we have with respect to allocation. This is required to keep us going until the end of the financial year,” Mayrhoo said.

“It has no point making Siparia a borough in the same condition it is now – that would be a cosmetic change. It will cost a large sum of money to change all our signs and logos on vehicles and our buildings and so on.”

He also called on the line minister Faris Al-Rawi to meet with the council.

“This corporation has nine electoral districts, and the allocation for this financial year was a measly $800,000. This means the nine councillors and the chairman each get $80,000,” Mayrhoo said.

“The local roads are in poor condition because we do not have the resources to maintain them. Several landslips need attention immediately. Four of six backhoes are not working. The corporation is being crippled by the central government.”

Mayrhoo said of the corporation’s 68 vehicles, 29 are not working properly.

Last month the Prime Minister announced that the Siparia and Diego Martin corporations are to become boroughs.

The Siparia corporation serves over 80,000 people from Syne Village to Mosquito Creek to Icacos.

“Right now, we are running on credit. Suppliers are refusing to give us any line of credit again because we have maxed out our credit,” Mayrhoo said.

He repeatedly criticised the Government, accusing officials of “playing political games with the burgesses.”

The corporation is also short-staffed, he said.

“If there is any attempt to displace any worker in this corporation, we stand ready to take whatever necessary action to ensure that every worker’s employment is safe.”

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