By Roger Wong
Residents of Beterverwagting (BV) on the East Coast are disgusted at the state of the roads in their community and they feel they are being discriminated against.
Meanwhile, the NDC Chairman in the area Bruce Adams said that the key Market Road is likely to be repaired this year but he contended that the council did not have money of its own for this.
BV residents protested twice last week over the state of their roads and at one stage they set fire to debris. They were hoping to gain the attention of the authorities for a quick response to the roads problem which they say have caused additional expenses to them and hindered economic activity.
A visibly upset businessman who operates on Market Street, on Sunday lamented the condition of the roadways which he said were in this state for over ten years without any of the authorities showing an interest in addressing the issue.
“The council doesn’t care and … besides the local government doing a set of nonsense…since the last local government election, that chairman down there and nothing happening, no improvements, the workers in the office like they just idling and them gon just put them fuh dig, dig when the rain fall,” the disappointed resident told Stabroek News. He pointed out that the road directly in front of the council’s office needs urgent attention.
The resident also questioned the location of a tractor which he said was owned by the council and was sent for repairs a few years ago and was never returned to the office.
Market Road which connects Beterverwagting and Triumph serves as the main thoroughfare for economic activity and access for students and residents.
The businessman further questioned the purpose for the authorities ignoring the current state of Market Street and opting to carry out work in two other areas in close vicinity (Block CC and Block 8) which he said are mostly populated by government supporters.
“Them area get clear, smooth road and besides down deh na bin bad like hey so and this road deh lang before them area, I don’t know if the government one sided…”
The businessman further explained that residents from as far as Mon Repos benefit from using Market Street, since the buses in those areas stop working early in the evening. Passengers, including students from the Guyana School of Agriculture are then left to trek the distance to get home, since potholes on the road deter the drivers from going the full journey. “If the road do, the bus gon take the passengers right up, but when the rain fall it get really terrible”, he said.
The condition of the road resulted in the businessman spending considerable sums in the past on repairs for his car.
A businesswoman, Hinds (only name given) of Market Street, referred to the roads in the area as terrible.
“It in this state for the longest time and it really, really need to do because it breaking up we vehicles, only this morning I been driving around the area begging people fuh bricks fuh throw in the holes to level up the place lil bit”, she told Stabroek News.
Since Hinds supplies goods in wholesale quantities, she said that customers who traverse the area on a daily basis often complain of the roads which prompted her to personally attempt to make the streets a little more friendly to drivers.
Another resident, David Hinds said that he wished that the authorities can fix the roads at an early date.
“Right in front my house have a deep hole and when the rain fall, every time a vehicle pass, water splashing in me yard, only the other day them lil boys bring some bricks and throw in the hole down deh”, said Wilfred Marks, a senior citizen, while pointing to potholes on the road.
Adams, Chairman of the Beterverwagting/ Triumph Neighbour-hood Democratic Council (NDC) also expressed concern over the condition of the roads.
“First of all, all the roads in BV are bad and the protest which they had recently, I understand was a result of the young people who are dissatisfied that rehabilitative work are being carried out on Dr. Miller Street while, the streets in Beterverwagting are ignored.”
The ongoing works on Dr Miller Street, Adams told Stabroek News on Sunday are being done without the Council’s knowledge.
Residents can look forward for works to be done on Market Street sometime this year, since according to Adams, the Caribbean Development Bank-funded Basic Needs Trust Funds had indicated its intention to tackle this street.
The chairman further stated that the community cannot expect the council to carry out works on the road since the council doesn’t have that kind of money.
“We don’t have money to do roads, is the government or some donor like the Basic Needs Trust Fund will have to come on board to carry out those kind a works,” Adams added.
Further, Adams noted that some improvements were seen on Granville Park Access Road, but he questioned whether the work was completed since evidence of deterioration can be seen. Additionally the chairman said that he had no idea about the intended repairs since he observed workers in the area “patching the road”.
“It is unethical and unprincipled to just come in the area and just start doing work, we welcome the work but let us know what is going on,” Adams stated, while he revealed that the work was done by the Ministry of Housing.
Although all the roads are in a bad condition, the chairman noted that priority should be given to Republic Drive, owing to the heavy traffic that the road facilitates, while Quamina Road and Surat Drive and the others also need attention.
Adams said complaints are also coming from the young people in area that places where government’s supporters predominate are adorned with polished roads and pavements along with concrete drains.