From as early as 4.30 am, as commuters made their way to school and work, some Moruga residents burned debris a little distance away from the Santa Maria RC Primary School while others blocked the road at the Marac junction. Hundreds were trapped between the two roadblocks for hours and a decision was taken to close the school on account of the fire.
“Our roads are in a very terrible condition,” said president of the 14 ? Mile Mark Penal Rock Road, Moruga Community Council, Lester Guevarro. “We have been promised that it will be paved on numerous occasions, but the last time the road was paved was under Mr Basdeo Panday.” Guevarro said the area of contention lies between the ten and 16 mile marks which, they were promised by Moruga MP Dr Lovell Francis, would be paved in January 2016. Nothing has been done since, said Guevarro, and Moruga residents continue to be without a PTSC bus service to Penal as the bus stops at the ten mile mark beyond which is unpaved.
“We just didn’t wake up and say we going to block the road just so. It is a number of issues that are affecting the community but we needed to do something serious for people to take us seriously.” The irate residents also called for pipelines to be built in Herrera Trace as has been promised for years.
“Sometimes a water truck would pass and fill three tanks of water in the community. But the older residents can’t afford to go and tote a bucket of water and if people are out at work, by the time they get home that water is already finished.” They also called for the installation of 22 street lights which they say was promised since 2013, and for more people from the community to be employed in the teak field as was also promised last year. The constant promises have angered residents who feel like they are being “spun like top in mud” by officials said Guevarro.
They have accepted another promise by Francis, however, who met with the protesters yesterday and promised speedy action on their issues.
Contacted for comment, Francis told Newsday, “WASA is already mobilising” to run lines in Herrera Trace and the Ministries of Works and Transport and Rural Development have been asked to focus on the unpaved road. Asked for a time frame in which he expects these to be done, Francis said, “Short term.
Should be a matter of weeks.”