-says structure is an accident waiting to happen
Residents of High Park, Mahaicony Creek, are alleging that the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary Agriculture Development Authority (MMA/ADA) has failed to effect much needed repairs to a main access bridge used for transport to the location, and to transport paddy of the rice farmers to outside milling complexes.
Rice farmers yesterday said that the badly deteriorating bridge is ‘an accident waiting to happen’. Land erosion and the traversing of heavy duty trucks have created so much damage that the structure may soon plunge into the irrigation canal that separates the settlement from the outside world.
With rice harvesting in season farmers are very angry about the prolonged delay in fixing the bridge, since they want to get their produce to get to the mills to secure their only source of income.
Farmers, yesterday, said that when the bridge was installed over a year ago, they were promised a secure
concrete structure by the MMA/ADA.
They said that they were shocked when a bridge made of logs and planks was erected. The fact that trucks weighing many tonnes, excavators and other heavy duty vehicles traverse the area, the planks in many areas on the bridge have become dislodged, and there are gaping holes in the bridge that allows full view of the waters below.
Rice farmers yesterday were furious; some were very emotional as they lamented how they were stalled. Some farmers noted that they were ‘a forgotten people in a forgotten land’ as they have been pleading with the MMA/ADA for ages about having the bridge fixed.
Examining the structure yesterday it was noted that the bridge was just a combination of heavy plants bolted unto very large logs. There were no proper upholding beams for the bridge, and the logs were resting on the earth that made the dam.
The elements of weather and water have eroded the earth of the dam, and any vehicle attempting to cross the bridge can see the structure plunging several feet into the water below according to farmers. Vehicles presently cannot pass over the structure almost putting a halt to operations of the villagers and the rice farmers.
Villagers said despite their pleas for months to the MMA/ADA, only once some months ago they said a very young male representative who just examined the bridge, promised to return, and never showed up. They said on many occasions, they were told that a document has been signed to purchase materials to repair the bridge, but neither materials nor builders had ever arrived.
Yesterday residents informed that any attempts to use an alternate route to access the village would be to travel long miles behind the Burma location, and that area too was in a terrible condition.
Yesterday, MMA/ADA’S General Manager, Aubrey Charles, said that he had just signed a requisition to purchase material to repair the bridge.
Attempts to enquire of whether the building works were tendered, and the amounts, caused Mr Charles to report that he had a court appointment and had to rush off.
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