The Ministry of Public Infrastructure has announced the planned installation of 100 street lights in the Mocha and Diamond communities.
Residents of the Mocha Arcadia have repeatedly voiced concerns over the lack of lighting along the access road and the dangers it poses to users.
Their plea for lighting on the road was renewed following the death of Banks DIH employee Shemroy Cave, who collided with a horse on Tuesday night while riding his motorcycle along the road.
A statement from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure yesterday said that over the years a number of accidents have been reported along the access road to the two communities, which have seen rapid development and increased traffic.
“It is necessary that the infrastructure in these communities reflect their growth. Therefore, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure has taken the initiative to have sections of these access roads lit and is accelerating its planned installation of streetlights. This project will see the installation of 100 street lights in the two communities and is expected to improve the safety and security of the residents,” the Ministry added.
The statement did not include a timeline for the project or cost but it noted that more details will be announced at a later date.
Yesterday, over a dozen residents gathered at ‘Big Tree,’ in Mocha, and highlighted the need for the installation of lights along the access road. They stated that the lights are necessary since it is “pitch black” after the sun has set.
Residents also called for the road to be marked with fluorescent paint and reflectors to aid visibility.
According to minibus driver Monica Benjamin, if a driver does not use high beam headlights he/she would be unable to see what is before them along the road at night. She noted that it is almost impossible to even see a person on a bicycle.
Benjamin added that a few nights prior to Cave’s death, she nearly collided with the same horse with which he collided.
Another resident, Kempton Haynes, pointed out that only persons who live in Mocha would have knowledge on how to utilise the road, which stretches for about two miles. “…After 8 to 9 [pm] it is pitch black. Only who live here would understand how to use the road. If you drive with your high beam and there is a driver on the other side, you would blind them…,” Haynes, however, lamented.
Meanwhile, Lloyd Roberts, an older resident, said that several years ago the residents had a discussion with then Minister of Public Works Robeson Benn to have street lights. Roberts said the then Minister asked who would pay for the lights and the discussions did not go further.
Additionally, resident Timothy Evelyn said that within the last two years approximately five lives were lost on the road because of poor lighting.
Residents also complained about the frequent presence of stray animals on the road and called for there to be a more rigorous campaign by stray catchers.
Benjamin noted that in the mornings, during the peak hours when children are going to school and adults are heading to work, there is a lot of cattle on the road. She explained that during last year after a herd had passed her vehicle, a cow ran into her bus, leaving her with expenses. She said although she made a report to the police, she got no justice.
Further, other residents complained about the poor condition of the roads in the areas and main access bridges.
Residents complained about the weak bridges they have to use on a daily basis. While Stabroek News was present, vehicles were slowly driving over a shaky bridge that connects the access road to the community.
Residents who gathered also complained about the remains of the horse with which Cave collided. They noted that nothing is begin done to remove the corpse, which has started to be decompose
Meanwhile, newly-elected Chairman of the Mocha Arcadia Neighbourhood Democratic Council Rudolph Adams said that he was going to write the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to provide lights for the community and the access road.
Adams told Stabroek News via telephone that installing lights in the community is one of the top priorities for his council. He said that on Monday last, the council met for a special meeting and they discussed the possibilities of having the lights installed in the community.
Questioned if he was aware of the Ministry’s plans to install lights, he responded in the negative, while noting that he was not contacted and told of the plans. Adams nonetheless welcomed the move by the ministry to install the lights.