It is unclear as to whether the Parika Backdam road will get a permanent fixture. However, according to a Ministry of Education official, the process of finding contractors to repair the deplorable road can be expected to begin shortly.
“The Ministry already has that planned, but the process to go to tender and so has not yet started, but the residents should know that it will be fixed…as of now, I’m not certain if this will be a permanent fix per say, but it will be better, and I’m sure that the residents would be comfortable,” the official who asked not to be named said.
Just recently, residents once again became furious over the deplorable condition of the Parika Backdam Access Road, which has been a major hindrance for farmers trying to make ends meet.
They have been losing thousands of dollars worth in produce, which would constantly fall from the vehicles struggling to maneuver the potholes on the road.
Many are also peeved that transportation operators are refusing to take them to their homes because of the road’s poor condition, especially in the case where schoolchildren are stranded for hours waiting to go home.
Residents complained about their vehicles being destroyed, causing them to be constantly buying new vehicle parts.
One resident, Mr. Doodnauth, had told Kaieteur News that the Region Three administration has been neglecting the road which serves as the main access to three communities – Naamryck, Parika and Ruby backdams. These communities are home to more than 1000 persons.
According to the region’s Alliance for Change (AFC) Councilor, Harry Deokinanan, he has raised the issue at a previous statutory meeting, but was told by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C)’s representative that residents were comfortable with the condition of the road.
“That is a lie! Who can be comfortable with the condition of such a road? I even went back there to show the people the minutes of the meeting, and they said that it was a lie,” Deokinanan said.
He told Kaieteur News that prior to the statutory meeting, he sought the assistance of Regional Chairman Julius Faeber, but was told that the administration does not have the money to purchase a grader with the needed crusher-run.
The Ministry of Agriculture has always been fully aware of the farmers’ plight, but shabby works continue to further annoy residents.
In 2011, residents were forced to voice their grievances via a demonstration. Some works were carried out, but just one year after its construction, the Parika Backdam Access Road, East Bank Essequibo (EBE) was once again in an appalling state.
Some works were carried out in July 2013, and the residents’ struggles with the road continue. The multi-million dollar two-mile road was built around February-March in 2010.
However, then, the finished product did not meet the satisfaction of residents since the contractor was said to have utilized substandard materials.
“Even tar dem na bin put,” one resident had stressed.
It was explained then that only crusher run, sand and loam were administered in the process, causing the road to continuously deteriorate.
Since mainly heavy laden vehicles carrying loads of produce in and out of the Backdam mainly traverse the road, it is essential that the road gets a permanent fixture.
“It’s thousands of pounds of vegetables and fruits in there that have to be accessed to be taken to markets such as the Leonora, Parika and Bourda ones,” Deokinanan said.
Residents are hoping that the planned works would be unlike the shabby kind which has been done in the past.
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