Opinion: A taste of St. Maarten parliament

POSTED: 01/17/12 12:41 PM

Life’s not always easy in our parliament and that also goes for radio listeners who put energy into making head or tail of what our parliamentarians are saying. Here is an example from yesterday’s meeting with Vromi-minister Theo Heyliger. This is – verbatim – what United People’s party MP Ruth Douglas had to say:

“Good afternoon, and I would like to thank all the well-wishers. God’s will has been done.
I would like to welcome again our captain, minister Heyliger actually I may say.
A lot that has been said here, even a blind person can feel when you’re driving on the road what is going on so there is no going about that we know all of this. And yes it has been a concern for many people and of my own. But my question is, it’s going to be very quick and simple, through you madame president, if the heavy equipment that is transporting themselves on our roads, the capability of a road to hold all this heavy equipment that will eventually crack the cement and you find that once water is passing it is going to lift up and form holes. Time after time this has happened.
Water on our island, we know that water always passes through the same habitual place. It always goes through the same places, so you find that when we do which I have seen and witnessed, next time I will take photos, you do find heavy equipment traveling either during working hours on our road without having no loader, they call these long thingies flat beds, you know and therefore you find that half of these things start to cause damages to the road.
This eventually with the rain passing, holes is also going to be forming. So is there a particular time, are they going to be fined if they are formed, I believe that definitely they are the cause of the continuous formation of holes in the road.
Nevertheless I would like to say that as St. Maarteners we also have to help maintain our infrastructure. I would like to comment on this base – why we went on these visitation trips and overseas parliamentarians have given their nod of pleasure of how St. Maarten indeed have changed, have grown how the infrastructure have enhanced the beautification of our country which is quite well. And I’ve heard one of our colleague-parliamentarians say, Oh, what are you going to do, are they now just going to drill holes? One of them said why don’t you ask the Dutch people they are very good in making tunnels.
Maybe that is an idea, I mean, every foolishness quote unquote to make a joke it can be a plan that can help our infrastructure the traffic jams and what not else even building of ….I told the minister once if there is a teleferico, why not. We have beautiful hills, through the design people will enjoy instead of renting cars, they will go from one hill to the other looking at St. Maarten with a bird view and reaching or arriving in town or wherever it is going to lead. It is for beautification of our country, naturally we need experts go through all this.
Nevertheless, about the sewage it is quite known that during dry season the majority of time you’re not going to have much problem with sewage. But during the raining season there is a combination of half and half …if you have half rainwater and half sewage a lot of people trying for expense trying not to pay the sewage truck to go out there, so they profit that rain falling and let sewage pass in the road. It is a continuous problem, especially during the raining season. I believe that St. Maarteners as we are we need to take the responsibility and have conscious that it is not only about them saving a buck or two to alleviate themselves of their full tank of sewage, but to dispose this in the correct way. And indeed, as my colleagues state, fines for people who are doing this.
Yes, I don’t really know how you’re going to but I find that fines have to be instituted for these people who is now giving a bad name to St. Maarten and to our ministry that we are permitting sewage to be running in the road.
I mean we have to do our part the government is going to do their part and together, because this is not a one-man show it is a togetherness. Together we are going to move forward and call for improvements and the betterment of St. Maarten. Indeed it is not only children walking. I’ve seen people who have had piodermitis, problems of the skin because of sewage water that they have to be walking in or cars splashing you. You cannot even say ‘m going to take a walk when it is raining. People have no etiquette, they just splash you and there you go with dirty water on top of you traveling from point A to point B. So you find that it have a lot to do with the people of St. Maarten cooperating.
For Back and Front Street indeed I believe through you madame chairlady to the ministry I find that maintenance of anything done on a timely manner is going to prevent, We do not know during the nightly hours what are the heavy cars or whatever, I know it’s with sand and those blocks but sometimes it is with heavy things they are going to shift them. Then indeed we are going to be feeling that we are running on waves.
But we take care of the things. Double check if they are not allowed a certain amount of big trucks that are passing into our Back Street, either to be carrying this, charge them a particular type of tax because they are the ones who is ruining the infrastructure of our Front and Back street with these blocks in the street. That is part of it.
But nevertheless I definitely want to commend the ministry for what it is doing and yes there is definitely always space for improvement.
So therefore, are we going to be fining these folks or are we going to be charging much more money when these heavy transports vrachtautos is passing make deliveries on Front Street and Back Street so that when they damage the road that we have enough money to fix them back and if fines going to be given to these people who is destroying water or sewage water inside of our streets and that is going to be a problem.
These are my questions to the minister. Thank you very much madame chairlady.”
We rest our case.

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Comments (3)

 

  1. Dave Morris says:

    If people had designed front street with proper acces for delivery and not just concentrated on a pretty Boardwalk then the problems would be lessened. Proper drainage and materials when roads are made/repaired would be the answer also. The contractors either use substandard materials OR are frankly incompetent where building a road to last is concerned. In the UK for example, where the rainfall is constant;these problems rarely occur. If a road is built correctly and not in a penny-pinching way the roads will last.The same for sewers applies. It is easy to blame one section of the road-using community for all the problems. SXM is an island entirely dependant on imported goods so heavy trucks are a necessary thing.You want to eat, clothe your family etc, you need them. Fining heavy transport will only drive up already expensive prices even further. Things are not so black and white,although building correctly will prevent. a lot of future problems

  2. paul mooij says:

    What a sad thing to notice. I have so wasted my (spare) time to help people with complaints, coach inspectors and departments to help combat running sewage. It is very simple. Politicians do not want to take action because of their own agenda.

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