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Trinbagologue - First impressions - the civil infrastructure

The country is rather small in size and it reflects in the way the infrastructure is built and modified from global standards. The roads are narrower, bridges are smaller, flyovers are rare and there are no railways.

Personal transport is the preferred and widely preferred mode of travel. Everybody has one car of their own, quite a few have 2 or even 3 cars. Public transport is limited to the rarely-seen buses and the ubiquitous maxi-taxis. There are a few personal car owners operating as taxis on popular routes as well but those are few and do not operate a fixed schedule, thus making them unreliable.

Cars are dirt cheap and there is a huge market for RO-ROs. Literally standing for Roll On Roll Off, these are foreign cars, mostly japanese, that have been put on a ship and brought to Trinidad for selling here. Needless to say, this practice is not beneficial to the local automotive industry and they keep trying to curb this practice. These cars are also relatively cheaper than a similar type of car manufactured and sold locally.

There are hardly any motorcycles, I do not remember seeing even one so far and scooters are simply not existent.

The roads are good in the major city centers but I am told that they are quite bad in far flung and rural areas. In general, the condition of the roads, despite being narrow, is superior to most Indian roads and speeds in excess of 100 kmph are common on the Highway.

The municipal garbage collection and waste management strategy seems to be better than most Indian setups and the country is relatively cleaner too. Please note that while we call Trinidad cleaner, the local residents are totally against that classification and believe that they are way behind truly clean countries in the western world.

Since a large swathe of land is actually reclaimed swampland, instances of flash flooding immediately after rainfall are becoming commonplace and cause havoc with traffic conditions becoming remarkably worse anytime it rains.

The country has witnessed explosive growth in number of cars being put on the road and has not made adequate investment in upgrading the road infrastructure, thus leading to numerous traffic jams across the country and generally irritatingly-slow moving traffic. Most roads are chok-a-blok with cars during the start and end of normal business hours and hence a 4-5 km journey takes a good 45-50 minutes.

Electricity infrastructure is fairly good but there are issues in far-flung areas. We have experienced only one power outage so far which got fixed within 10 minutes.

And there are no footpaths.

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