Residents of Yakusari, Black Bush Polder (BBP) say the main access road that was fixed only late last year has already begun deteriorating with huge potholes and cracks all over.
The residents told this newspaper during a visit that it seems as though “the road was done of poor standard that is why it breaking up so fast.”
Further they said the appalling state of the roadways results in a longer time spent to traverse it and that “when we gat to go to the hospital in an emergency the road does delay we.”
A resident said because of the condition of the road their relatives have refused “to come in and visit we because they frighten they dig up dem vehicle.”
According to the residents BBP is a rice growing area and heavy-duty vehicles have to traverse the road almost daily. They are also contending that this may be one of the reasons for it deteriorating.
“They can’t stop the big trucks from working in here because it gat a rice mill and almost everybody does do rice wuk. That is what people depend on for a living so government should build the road wider and sturdier,” a resident said.
Contacted, regional chairman of Region Six, Zulfikar Mustapa commented that the main road at Yakusari falls under the Ministry of Public Works and that Chris Jagdeo’s Construction was contracted to start effecting minor repairs.
Mustapha said some of the “contractors need to adhere to specifications of the road and have to report to the region at every stage.”
While admitting that some contractors were doing sloppy work, he said the region has put a new system in place to correct that and they are now “getting better quality of road for the money.”
According to the chairman, the new system entails the signing of contracts in the presence of residents, who also sign as witnesses. The residents also have to obtain copies of the “bill of quantities so they can monitor the quality of work and they have been reporting to me.”
He said residents have already spoken to him about providing a better road to accommodate the “heavy-duty vehicles” and he is making representation to ensure that this is done. Some road works, he said, have already been done at Mibicuri North and Johanna North at a cost of $6.5M and are about 90% completed.
Mustapha said the technical advisor to the Minister of Public Works, Walter Willis visited the area and examined the road and would decide on the design of the road that is slated to start shortly.
Meanwhile, the chairman said the region has acquired $46M under the capital roads programme budget. He said the Kilcoy/Fyrish roads have been upgraded from burnt earth to chip seal at a cost of $5M.
According to him upgrading works from crusher run to burnt earth are almost completed at Babu John Street at Port Mourant, Middle Street, John’s and at Molsen Creek, which has been delayed to facilitate cane-harvesting in the area.
He said through the region’s maintenance programme they have maintained roads across the area including Fyrish, Manchester, East and West Canje and the East Bank of Berbice. (Shabna Ullah)