Chaguanas

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Chaguanas
Borough of Chaguanas
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Chaguanas Main Road and Price Plaza
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Chaguanas
Location of Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago.
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Chaguanas
Chaguanas (Caribbean)
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Chaguanas
Chaguanas (North America)
Coordinates: 10°31′N61°24′W / 10.517°N 61.400°W / 10.517; -61.400 Coordinates: 10°31′N61°24′W / 10.517°N 61.400°W / 10.517; -61.400
CountryFlag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago
Jurisdiction Borough of Chaguanas
Settled1797
Borough13 September 1990
Named for Chaguanes indigenous tribe
Government
  MayorGopaul Boodhan
  Governing bodyChaguanas Borough Corporation
Area
   Borough 59 km2 (23 sq mi)
Elevation
[1]
48 m (157 ft)
Population
(2011)
   Borough 83,489
  Rank 1st
  Density1,416/km2 (3,670/sq mi)
   Urban
101,297
Demonym(s) Chaguanans
Time zone UTC-4 (AST)
  Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Not Observed)
Postal Code
50xxxx, 52xxxx [2]
Area code(s) (868) [3]
ISO 3166 code TT-CHA
Telephone Exchanges 665, 671, 672, 829
Website www.chaguanasborough.com
HDI The HDI for Trinidad and Tobago is 0.814, which gives the country a rank of 19th out of 177 countries with data (2007/2008) – high

The Borough of Chaguanas is the largest borough [4] (83,489 at the 2011 census) and fastest-growing [5] [6] town in Trinidad and Tobago. Located in west-central Trinidad, south of Port of Spain, north of Couva and San Fernando, named after the indigenous tribe who originally settled there, it grew in size due to its proximity to the Woodford Lodge sugar refinery. It remained a minor town until the 1980s when it began to grow rapidly as it drew people for its bargain shopping and moderately-priced housing. However, its rapid growth has seen property values increase dramatically. [5]

Trinidad and Tobago island country in the Caribbean Sea

Trinidad and Tobago, officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is a twin island country that is the southernmost nation of the West Indies in the Caribbean. It is situated 130 kilometres south of Grenada off the northern edge of the South American mainland, 11 kilometres off the coast of northeastern Venezuela. It shares maritime boundaries with Barbados to the northeast, Grenada to the northwest, Guyana to the southeast, and Venezuela to the south and west.

Port of Spain City in City of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Port of Spain, officially the City of Port of Spain, is the capital city of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's second-largest city after San Fernando and the third largest municipality after Chaguanas and San Fernando. The city has a municipal population of 37,074, an urban population of 81,142 and a transient daily population of 250,000. It is located on the Gulf of Paria, on the northwest coast of the island of Trinidad and is part of a larger conurbation stretching from Chaguaramas in the west to Arima in the east with an estimated population of 600,000.

Couva Town in Couva–Tabaquite–Talparo, Trinidad and Tobago

Couva is an urban town in west-central Trinidad, south of Port of Spain and Chaguanas and north of San Fernando and Point Fortin. It is the main urban and commercial centre of Couva–Tabaquite–Talparo, and the Greater Couva area includes the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and the Port of Point Lisas. It is one of the fastest growing towns in the country. Couva's southern boundary is at the village of California & Point Lisas, and to the north Couva stretches to McBean. To the east of Couva is Preysal. To the west of Couva is the road to Waterloo and Carli Bay, which are located on the Gulf of Paria. Couva is part of the Caroni County. Couva is considered a major power base for the United National Congress (UNC), whose headquarters are located here.

Contents

Chaguanas became a borough in 1990; prior to that it was part of the Caroni County. The current mayor is Gopaul Boodhan, and the Borough Council has historically been dominated by the United National Congress. [7]

Borough An administrative division in some English-speaking countries

A borough is an administrative division in various English-speaking countries. In principle, the term borough designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of the term varies widely.

Caroni County

Caroni County is a historic county of Trinidad and Tobago. It occupies 557 km2 (215 sq mi) in the west central part of the island of Trinidad, the larger island in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It lies south and southwest of Saint George County, west of Nariva County and north of Victoria County. To the west it is bounded by the Gulf of Paria. County Caroni includes the towns of Chaguanas, the largest town in the country and Couva, the capital of the Couva–Tabaquite–Talparo region. Administratively it is divided between the Borough of Chaguanas, the Couva–Tabaquite–Talparo Regional Corporation and the Tunapuna–Piarco Regional Corporation. The county was divided into four Wards: Chaguanas, Couva, Cunupia and Montserrat. The major towns of County Caroni are Chaguanas and Couva. The port and industrial zone of Point Lisas is located in Caroni, and the region is also a site for agriculture.

United National Congress political party in Trinidad and Tobago

The United National Congress (UNC) is one of the two major political parties in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and one of the main parties in the current opposition. It was founded by Basdeo Panday, a lawyer and former trade unionist. The UNC was formed as the result of a split in the ruling National Alliance for Reconstruction in 1988. After spending six years in opposition, the UNC won control of the government in 1995. In the 2000 general elections, the UNC won an absolute majority in the Parliament. In 2001, a split in the party caused the UNC to lose its parliamentary majority and control of the government. Between 1991 and 1995, and again from 2001 to 2010, the UNC was the Parliamentary Opposition party. In May 2010, the UNC returned to government as the majority party in the People's Partnership. With this victory, the UNC's political leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar was sworn in as Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the first woman to hold this position. Historically, the UNC has been supported by a majority of Indo-Trinidadian and Tobagonians and other minorities in the country. The UNC is also colloquially called the Indian party. The party symbol is the rising sun above the Trinity Hills.

History

Chaguanas was named for the Chaguanes Amerindian tribe. [8] The area was settled by the time of the British conquest of Trinidad in 1797 (see History of Trinidad and Tobago ). The town originated on what was then H.E. Robinson's sugar estate adjacent to the Woodford Lodge sugar refinery and the De Verteuil coconut and cocoa estate to the north and east. It was sold over to the now defunct Caroni (1975) Ltd when sugar was the main export commodity for Trinidad and Tobago, and was part of the Woodford Lodge Estate that is home to several buildings including the homes of several ex-Caroni workers.Construction of the Trinidad Government Railway helped the town grow.

The history of Trinidad and Tobago begins with the settlements of the islands by Amerindians, specifically the Island Carib and Arawak peoples. Both islands were explored by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage in 1498. Trinidad remained in Spanish hands until 1797, but it was largely settled by French colonists. Tobago changed hands between the British, French, Dutch, and Courlanders, but eventually ended up in British hands following the second Treaty of Paris (1814). In 1889 the two islands were incorporated into a single crown colony. Trinidad and Tobago obtained its independence from the British Empire in 1962 and became a republic in 1976.

Sugar refinery

A sugar refinery is a refinery which processes raw sugar into white refined sugar or that processes sugar beet to refined sugar.

Trinidad Government Railway

The Trinidad Government Railway existed between 1876 and 28 December 1968. Originally built to connect Port of Spain with Arima, the railway was extended to Couva in 1880, San Fernando in 1882, Cunapo in 1897, Tabaquite in 1898, Siparia in 1913 and Rio Claro in 1914.

The Princess Margaret Highway, built by the US military during World War II, joined the Southern Main Road at Chaguanas. Construction of the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway extended the highway south to San Fernando. The Carlsen Air Force Base was a former United States Army Air Forces World War II airbase constructed in Carlsen Field in 1942, consisting of two landing strips, "Edinburgh" and "Xerxes". The airbase also included an emergency landing strip, "Tobago". Edinburgh Field became the principal combat base for USAAF bombers and Naval airships on Trinidad as well as Navy fighters with a complex of runways and taxiways that surpassed even Waller Field. This lasted until 3 November 1943 when, it was renamed Carlsen Field. It was also used by the Royal Air Force and was defended by US Army infantry and AA units. When the Navy began lighter-than-air operations in the Caribbean in the fall of 1943, the 80th Seabees were brought in to build a station at Carlsen Field. To supplement the eight Army-owned buildings taken over by the Navy, the 80th Battalion built a large, steel blimp hangar, a mooring circle, paved runways, a helium-purification plant, and other operational appurtenances. The facility was formally disestablished on 1950, and today the former air and naval airship base has been turned into a dairy and agricultural area south of Chaguanas and is all but unrecognisable. Much of the former airfield area is owned by National Flour Mills (NFM) and the only remnants of the base are the name of the area in south Chaguanas, along with streets named "Edinburgh" and "Xerxes".

The Uriah Butler Highway, sometimes referred to as UBH, is one of the major north-south highways on Trinidad island in Trinidad and Tobago.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Southern Main Road highway in Trinidad and Tobago

The Southern Main Road is a major road in Trinidad and Tobago running from Curepe in the north through Chaguanas, Couva, San Fernando, and Point Fortin to Icacos in the southwest.

In the later 20th century Chaguanas grew rapidly as a bazaar town. The construction of Lange Park in the early 1980s attracted a middle-class community moving south from Port of Spain and the East–West Corridor and north from San Fernando. Its central location made it attractive to southerners working in north Trinidad and northerners looking for more affordable homes. Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of Afro-Trinidadian persons joining the mostly Indo-Trinidadian community of Chaguanas, primarily through the construction of National Housing Authority (now the Housing Development Corporation) residential housing, such as Edinburgh 500. Orchard Gardens was constructed as an upper middle class community, and Lange Park (which originally and continues to have a number of civil servants) gradually gentrified.

East–West Corridor Metropolitan Area in Trinidad and Tobago

The East–West Corridor is the built-up area of north Trinidad stretching from the capital, Port of Spain, 24 kilometres (15 mi) east to Arima. The term was coined by economist and political philosopher Lloyd Best, after gleaning the works of a technocrat named Lynette Attwell. The Corridor includes such towns as Laventille, Morvant, Barataria, San Juan, St. Joseph, Curepe, St. Augustine, Tunapuna, Tacarigua, Arouca, and Five Rivers, once distinct communities, now districts within a continuous urban area. For the most part it runs along the Eastern Main Road, between the Churchill–Roosevelt Highway and the foothills of the Northern Range. It is a densely populated and fairly congested strip of development along some of the best agricultural soils in the country.

San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago City in City of San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago

San Fernando, officially the City of San Fernando, is the second most populous municipality in Trinidad and Tobago, after Chaguanas and the most populous city. It occupies 19 km² and is located in the southwestern part of the island of Trinidad. It is bounded to the north by the Guaracara River, the south by the Oropouche River, the east by the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway, and the west by the Gulf of Paria. The former borough was elevated to the status of a city corporation on 18 November 1989. The motto of San Fernando is: "Sanitas Fortis" - In a Healthy Environment We Will Find Strength. Many local Trinidadians refer to the city with the shortened name "Sando." San Fernando is called Trinidad and Tobago's "industrial capital" because of its proximity to the Pointe-à-Pierre oil refinery and many other petrochemical, LNG, iron and steel and aluminium smelters in places such as Point Lisas in Couva, Point Fortin, and La Brea.

Also, despite Couva's historical legacy within the Caroni County, as Chaguanas has evolved and expanded significantly to become the de facto administrative and commercial capital of Central Trinidad, Couva's character has now changed to become a magnet for industrialisation, sports, health, education, commercial, aviation and residential activities.

In October 1990 Chaguanas was elevated to the status of borough under the provisions of the Municipal Corporations Act No. 21 of 1990. [6]

Geography

Chaguanas is low-lying and is just upstream from the Caroni Swamp. The Caparo River runs through the town. The Chaguanas Main Road runs East to West from Felicity to Longdenville. The Southern Main Road (SMR) from Busy Corner (part of which includes the Chaguanas Main Road from Busy Corner to Montrose Junction) runs south to San Fernando. The North-South Highways begins and ends at the flyover in Chaguanas, just east of the SMR West of the SMR, Perseverance Road continues south from Railway Road onto Orange Field Road.

Climate

Chaguanas has a lowland seasonal tropical climate with a wet season lasting from June to November and a dry season lasting from January to May. Unlike Port of Spain, Chaguanas has a usually hot and sweltering climate year round, with an exception for the wet season.

Urban structure

Chaguanas is bounded to the north by Munroe Road, to the east by the Gandia River, to the south by the Honda River and to the west by the Gulf of Paria.

The town is bisected by the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway and Uriah Butler Highway.

Chaguanas consists of the following main population centres:

Governance

The Chaguanas Borough Corporation (CBC) is a Local Government Authority and was incorporated on 13 September 1990 by the Municipal Corporation Act 21 of 1990. The CBC is governed by the Act No. 21 of 1990 of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In 2013, the Chaguanas Borough Corporation moved into its new administrative building situated in Success Street, Woodforde Lodge.

Chaguanas Borough Council has eight electoral district councillors and four aldermen selected through a proportional representation methodology. The mayor and deputy mayor are then selected. The electoral districts are: Felicity/Endeavour; Enterprise South; Edinburgh/Longdenville; Enterprise North; Charlieville; Montrose; Monroe Road/Caroni Savannah Road; and Cunupia.

Chaguanas comprises (wholly or in part) the following parliamentary electoral districts: Chaguanas West; Chaguanas East, Couva North, Caroni Central, and Caroni East.

Economy

Market on Chaguanas Main Road TnT Chaguanas 8.jpg
Market on Chaguanas Main Road

Chaguanas developed as a market town and still attracts bargain shoppers. Much of Chaguanas' development has centred around the Chaguanas Main Road where numerous shopping plazas have been constructed. The Chaguanas Main Road (east of the Chaguanas flyover) continued to develop, primarily through small and medium size businesses, to fulfill the expanding population centres.

Retail development expanded with the construction of three malls in the downtown in the 1980s (Centre City, Mid Centre and Ramsaran Plaza, later to become Centre Pointe Mall). Centre City Mall has been significantly renovated and there are future plans to expand further to become the largest mall in the Caribbean. It will feature two major buildings, one near to the Uriah Butler Highway and another close to the centre of Chaguanas, joined by an enclosed walkover above the Mulchan Seuchan Link Road.

Shopping Mall on De Verteuil Street De Verteuil Street, Chaguanas, TTO.jpg
Shopping Mall on De Verteuil Street

More recently, construction of Price Plaza in Endeavour expanded upscale retail opportunities. Price Plaza includes a warehouse-style store PriceSmart, TGI Friday's and Ruby Tuesday restaurants, a food court, SuperPharm, as well as many other retail outlets. MovieTowne is situated in Price Plaza. Adjoining to the Price Plaza complex are other restaurants and bars, e.g. Woodford Cafe, Wild Olive Restaurant, and Hollywood Grill.

A new shopping complex is planned to be built in 2013–15 in the Brentwood planned housing and commercial development.

ABEL or Alstons Building Enterprises Limited is a member of the ANSA McAl Group of Companies and is situated in Longdenville. It is the largest manufacturer of clay building blocks and Metpro steel and aluminium windows and doors and Astralite and Spectra uPVC windows and doors in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Chaguanas has also developed into a financial centre. The Unit Trust Corporation (UTC), First Citizens Bank (FCB), Sagicor, Republic Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, Scotiabank, RBTT, and the Bank of Baroda all have major corporate offices in Chaguanas.

The dissolution of the state-owned sugar company, Caroni (1975) Limited, had a profound effect on Chaguanas, since this company was a major employer.

Demographics

Chaguanas has grown rapidly from a small village to the largest city in Trinidad and Tobago. Chaguanas has historically been considered an Indo-Trinidadian city through its original villages (such as Edinburgh village, Felicity, Charlieville, Chandernagore, Chase Village, St. Thomas, Montrose, and Endeavour), but as it has grown it has become more multi-racial. Enterprise is a historically Afro-Trinidadian village which has been absorbed into the growing city of Chaguanas. Also, Edinburgh 500 and other associated governmental housing developments are also largely Afro-Trinidadian.

Demography

Historical populations
YearPop.±%
2000 61,897    
2011 83,489+34.9%

Ancestry

Borough of Chaguanas racial breakdown
Racial composition2011 [9]
Indians (Indo-Trinidadian) 53.5%
Black (Afro-Trinidadian/Tobagonian) 25.3%
Multiracial 9.3%
Dougla (Indian and Black)7.03%%
White Trinidadian 0.1%
East Asian (Chinese) 0.2%
Native American (Amerindian) 0.06%
Levantine (Syrian/Lebanese) 0.02%
Other0.15%
Not stated4%

Culture and entertainment

Scenery/attractions

The Lion House also known as Anand Bhavan, is the ancestral home of the Capildeo family and is the birthplace of Nobel Prize–winning author V.S. Naipaul is located in Chaguanas. This is generally assumed to be the model for Hanuman House in Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas , with Chaguanas as the model for Arwacas

The Caroni Swamp, the largest mangrove wetland in Trinidad and Tobago, is located just north and west of the town. The swamp is a popular tourist attraction and roosting ground for the scarlet ibis, national bird of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Divali Nagar site, located in northern Chaguanas, is a major attraction in the period just before Diwali. The village of Felicity, on the western end of Chaguanas, is famous for its elaborate Diwali celebrations.

Media

The Trinidad Publishing Company (TTSE: TPCL), the country’s oldest and most established publisher of the Trinidad Guardian newspaper, constructed its printing facility for the Newspaper division of Trinidad Publishing Company Limited, of the ANSA McAL Group’s Media Sector, in the vicinity of Chaguanas flyover.

HCU Communications Limited (now defunct) was based in Chaguanas. It operated a radio station (Win Radio 101.1 FM), was home of television station (WIN TV) From early 2007, it also published three weekly newspapers, The Probe, Uhuru and Bollywood Today.

Entertainment

The town includes numerous malls (such as Price Plaza, Xtra Plaza, Mid centre Mall & Centre Pointe Mall) and associated restaurants and bars. Also, a number of areas in Chaguanas are now quickly developing into entertainment areas, such as Rodney Road, Endeavour with The Rise, Law 5, Double R, and others.

Infrastructure

Health

The Chaguanas District Hospital is located in Montrose Chaguanas (along the Southern Main Road). Inclusive of the district health facility, a private hospital (Medical Associates) situated in the vicinity of the Chaguanas flyover was opened in 2012. Other small privately run health facilities are located throughout Chaguanas and its environs.

The Caroni County Medical Officers of Health (CMOH), of which Chaguanas falls under, is situated on the Southern Main Road in Couva.The CMOH are responsible for insect-vector control and septic leakage complaints.

Education

The Borough is host to many prominent primary and secondary schools. Notable primary schools include Montrose Vedic in Downtown Chaguanas, and Montrose Government in Lange Park.

The Presentation College, Chaguanas is a Roman Catholic secondary school in Chaguanas and is the brother school of Presentation College, San Fernando. It was regarded the best performing high school in Trinidad and Tobago throughout its history, and in particular within its recent history being awarded the country's President's medal for best performing student multiple times (5 times in a row).

The University of the West Indies (UWI) Esmond D Ramesar Open Campus will be constructed along the Narsaloo Ramaya Road in Chaguanas.

Transport

Chaguanas is an important transportation hub. Buses, taxis and maxi-taxis connect Chaguanas with Port of Spain, San Fernando, Curepe and Couva, and smaller settlements around central Trinidad.

Given the town's origin as a village and its generally unplanned rapid growth into the country's largest town (by population), Chaguanas is continuously plagued by traffic problems despite numerous attempts of alternative traffic management schemes. This traffic congestion is now considered as a threat to future growth of the Borough.

Sports

The main sporting venue in Chaguanas is the Central Regional Indoor Sport Arena Hall at Saith Park. Smaller recreation grounds (e.g. Woodforde Lodge, Avinash Samaroo ground) and cricket pitches (Pierre Road) are scattered throughout the borough, but no larger sporting venues are located within the town. The town leverages the infrastructure from other towns such as Couva's Ato Boldon Stadium or Sevilla golf course, also located in Couva.

Utilities

Electric generation is handled by Powergen, while electrical distribution is handled by the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC). Chaguanas does not contain its own power generation facilities.

Water and sewerage are under the purview of the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WASA).

The town is served by all major telecommunication (including cable, satellite) companies, e.g. TSTT, Flow, DirectTV, Digicel Play (Digicel) and Greendot.

Sister city

Lauderhill, Florida, United States of America [10]

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Rudranath Capildeo Trinidad and Tobago politician and mathematician

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Divali Nagar

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Lange Park is the oldest planned premium residential community in Chaguanas, Trinidad and Tobago.

References

  1. "Elevation of Chaguanas,Trinidad and Tobago Elevation Map, Topo, Contour". floodmap.net. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  2. "List of Postal Districts". TTPOST. 29 July 2018. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  3. http://www.tntisland.com/tsttexchange.html
  4. Table from 2000 Census on Central Statistical Office of Trinidad and Tobago website
  5. 1 2 Chaguanas – Trinidad’s fastest growing town – Afra Raymond, 29 July 2004.
  6. 1 2 The Borough of Chaguanas – the Fastest Growing Commercial Centre Archived 7 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine Trinidad Guardian , 1 October 1998
  7. http://guardian.co.tt/news/2013-11-09/unc-rules-chaguanas
  8. Nobel LectureV.S. Naipaul, 2001
  9. Central Statistical Office. "NON-INSTITUTIONAL POPULATION BY SEX, AGE GROUP, ETHNIC GROUP AND MUNICIPALITY" (PDF).
  10. Sam Eifling (11 March 2004). "A Worldly Pitch". New Times. p. 3. Retrieved 16 July 2007.