Residents of Claxton Bay, together with the maxi taxi association, staged a fiery protest to highlight the poor condition of the Southern Main Road in Claxton Bay, on Friday 21 January 2022. (Image: RISHI RAGOONATH)

Commuters sought alternative routes this morning, as the Southern Main Road at Claxton Bay was blocked with burning debris during a protest by residents and maxi taxi drivers over its deplorable condition.

Guardian Media understands the protest started as early as 4 am.  Residents demanded that the road be repaired properly.

Vikash Kissoondath, president of the Green Band Maxi Taxi Association, complained that proper works on the road have not been done over the past 15 years. He said the road is in such a deplorable state, they have dubbed the three-kilometre stretch from St Margaret’s Junction to Pranz Gardens, “The Bocas”.

“Every Sunday, maxi men come out to fill up the holes. The road literally causes a backup of traffic straight to Marabella every single morning,” he told Guardian Media.

Kissoondath is calling on the relevant authorities to repair the road.

“Not only repairs… They keep on doing simple restoration work, but it is an underlying water problem that they need to rectify,” he argued.  “If they just come and they mill and they repave, it’s going to erode back within a couple of weeks you could say.”

However, resident Aaron Silcott begged to differ.  He maintains the deplorable state of the road is a result of 25 years of neglect.

“A simple project that could be fixed within a matter of hours has been left to be neglected for over 25 years,” he told Guardian Media.

“It takes 20 minutes to cross a hundred feet of roadway. That is wrong. All we need is a proper road system. The roads need to be fixed. We need a new drainage system,” he said.

Silcot added that they are not concerned about Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan’s warning to Barrackpore residents who took similar protest action that damaging the road that is a criminal offence, because the road is already bad.

The Claxton Bay resident said they will continue to protest until their complaint is addressed.