RADHICA DE SILVA
Frustrated with gaping potholes damaging their vehicles, residents of Digity Village in Barrackpore yesterday came together and started fixing the road themselves.
Using salvaged material from old projects, a backhoe and shovels, the residents—led by Jadoolal Ramcharan—began the patchwork around 7 am. He scraped off excess material from the roadsides, left there by the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation and placed them inside the potholes. His relatives Allana Ramcharan and Alexander Ramdass used shovels to flatten the material.
Ramcharan said he decided to use his backhoe and truck to fix the road because he was fed up of the constant damages they faced to their vehicles.
“I live right here in the village and I see one of my friends buss a crankcase here in that big hole,” Ramcharan revealed.
He added: “When I saw that I decided that maybe I should just fix the hole. If I had the material, I would have done the whole road. I’m trying to source a little material here and there. I don’t know where to get the rest of the material but if I had it, I would do the whole road,” Ramcharan added.
Alana said they usually plant crops on the sides of the Barrackpore Connector Road and since the road got damaged, few people were passing through the area to buy.
“Since the roads get bad, nobody passing to buy vegetables and the goods staying home and spoiling,” Allana added.
Another resident Alexander Ramdass said because of the deplorable road conditions, they had to spend money to change the suspension on his car.
“It is difficult for us to have to change mechanical parts all the timer. This is why we take it upon our consideration to fix the road ourselves.”
He said the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation dropped material in the area but never used oilsand or coal mix to keep the gravel stable.
“When the rain came, everything washed away,” Ramdass said.
Chairman of the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation Dr Allen Sammy could not be reached for comment and did not respond to messages.
However, Minister of Local Government Kazim Hosein said he could understand the plight of the residents.
“This is citizens helping themselves and I agree with them, but these kinds of works must be done in consultation with the Regional Corporation,” Hosein said.
He explained that roadworks were the job of the Corporation.
Hosein said he intended to investigate why the Corporation dropped gravel to fix the road but did not use any coal mix or asphalt.