Belle West residents demand better roads


By Devina Samaroo

Frustrated residents are hoping that a long overdue promise to fix the main access road in Phase Two of the Belle West Housing Scheme, West Bank Demerara (WBD) is fulfilled in the 2018 National Budget.

Since the beginning of last year, the main road leading into the scheme deteriorated to a state which repelled transportation operators from plying the route. The deplorable condition of the road even discourages vehicle-owners from travelling because of the damages likely to occur to their vehicles.

The deplorable state of the Main Access Road to Phase Two of the Belle West Housing Scheme. (Photo provided by a concerned resident)

Veronica Hercules, a resident, said she is growing impatient with the promises being made by the government officials. She told News Room during a telephone interview that Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma had visited the community in the latter part of 2016 and promised that monies will be allocated in the 2017 Budget for the road to be fixed.

She noted too that the Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson followed up in 2017 and assured that works will commence soon, however, no progress was ever made.

News Room has reached out to Minister Patterson for a comment on the issue and is currently awaiting a reply.

Meanwhile, Hercules explained that the state of the road has negatively impacted her life significantly.

“You find that when you go to the market and you have your groceries and your bags and all these things to bring in, it’s strenuous! This is the main access road, I mean the cross streets them are bad too – they’re loam so when it rains it gets worse – but the main road is where the vehicles would normally bring you through and you can stop off at your respective street corner and walk in,” she vented.

The deplorable state of the Main Access Road to Phase Two of the Belle West Housing Scheme. (Photo provided by a concerned resident)

Nadia Surgim, a resident of four years, said the state of the road inconveniences the lives of her children who go to school. She explained that because vehicles are reluctant to traverse the pothole-riddled strip, her children are often forced to walk a longer distance to get transportation to get to school.

Another resident, Radha Singh, told News Room that the situation can be very dangerous for persons who are forced to walk in the community after dark. Singh said her husband had paid to have the road graded sometime last year but it resorted to its deplorable state in no time.

The residents are urging that the relevant authorities heed their cries and bring some relief to their community.

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