Deplorable road condition sparks protest in Linden
…nurses fall on road with alarming frequency
Nurses and auxiliary staff of the Linden Hospital Complex, yesterday downed tools for several hours and formed a human barricade to block traffic along Casaurina Drive, to protest the deplorable condition of the road.
“Enough is enough,” many of them shouted. They collectively vowed to continue the protest until, ‘something is done’.
“This is the state of the art hospital, but look at the road we have to use to get to work. You know how many pairs of shoes we break up just by trudging through this slush; and the thing is, some taxis dropping you off in front the old hospital and we got to walk through it with we white shoes. This is totally unacceptable,” one nurse complained.
“We’re sick and tired of this road, and we will continue to do this (protest) until this road is done to our satisfaction,” another declared.
Another displayed her brown shoes, which she said she opted to buy, because it makes no sense to “wear whites in the quagmire.”
It was pointed out that persons visiting the hospital often fall ‘into the mess’, with the latest incidents occurring yesterday and even Friday.
The incident yesterday involved a guard attached to the hospital. The woman reportedly had to remove her clothing, wash them and have them dried, before she could leave the compound.
Several residents, among them taxi operators, later joined in the protest. The taxi operators were very vociferous, in their condemnation of the road, which they claimed was ‘breaking up’ their vehicles.
Casaurina Drive is one of the main thoroughfares in Mackenzie, Linden, which apart from being the access road to the hospital, also connects Linden to remote communities like Coomacka, Kwakwani and Ituni.
There have been numerous complaints about the state of the road for several years now, but apart from promises, nothing tangible has been done to rectify the situation. In the meanwhile the road continues to deteriorate. Residents are convinced that the “big trucks” traversing the road, are responsible for its continued deterioration.
Recently, Bosai Minerals had committed to give some assistance towards the rehabilitation of the road, and had promised to collaborate with other stakeholders including the Linden municipality to erect barriers to prohibit the trucks– especially logging and container trucks– from traversing the thoroughfare.
Many roads in Linden ‘are a nightmare’ for residents, despite the millions of dollars that are spent every year on rehabilitative works.
Only last year several alleyways and roadways which were rehabilitated across Linden, deteriorated mere weeks after such works were completed.
Residents have complained, in vain, about the substandard works that are executed in the community, but to no avail.
And major stakeholders of the Town have condemned most of the works as totally substandard.
Regional Chairman, Solomon Sharma, has announced that pending the commencement of permanent works, the drains on both sides of Casaurina Drive are expected to be cleared in an emergency effort to facilitate easy water run off to mitigate the current situation..
Sharma also indicated that the current delay in rehabilitating the road was due to the fact that tenders for the expected works are expected to begin today and the regional administration did not want to change the scope of work.
The delay was also due to the long time tabling and approval the 2012 National Budget had taken, Solomon pointed out.
Some $13 million has been allocated for repairing Casuarina Drive. In addition, BOSAI Minerals, has pledged $5 million plus equipment and labour to help rehabilitate the road.