It is “a gross injustice” for the Government of Barbados to deny the taxpayers of Rockhampton Road, Jackson, St. Michael, access to a well paved road in the year 2013.
So said Parliamentary representative for the area, Cynthia Forde, as she voiced this concern today during an interview with Barbados TODAY.
Forde asked: “Where are the equity, transparency, and the adherence to democratic principles the Democratic Labour Party is always talking about?”
The St. Thomas MP recalled that repairs to the road began during the 2006-2007 financial year, yet seven years later the road remains incomplete.
She further recalled that she had written former and current ministers responsible Rural and Urban Development Commissions and Housing, Steve Blackett, Chris Sinckler, Michael Lashley and Denis Kellman to no avail.
“We have held demonstrations to express our disgust at the delay in completing the road,” Forde complained. “We were able to gather 103 signatures on a petition which was forwarded to the Government asking that the road be completed, but it has fallen on deaf ears.”
The outspoken parliamentarian pointed out that all that was needed to complete the road was “a coat of bitumen”.
Forde charged that sanitation workers had refused to take their trucks into the incomplete road to collect garbage from the individual households.
She further charged that even taxi drivers had been refusing to travel on the road to drop off passengers.
The St. Thomas MP recalled that last Christmas residents were asked to take their garbage to the entrance of the road to be collected by a Sanitation Service Authority vehicles.
Forde however noted that residents could be prosecuted and fined $5,000 for depositing garbage on a main highway.
She said: “This Government does not care about equity even though they speak about it. Can you imagine residents of a districts having to run with their garbage down a road to deposit it in a garbage truck? This is a backward step in 2013.”
The veteran MP also charged that her constituents were not benefiting from the housing programme carried out by the Rural Development Commission. She pointed out that three years after the passage of Tropical Storm Tomas there were still houses in her constituency without roofs.
She noted that of the 50 houses damaged during the storm only four had been repaired.
Lauding the initiative of her constituents, Forde said some of them had entered into hire purchase arrangements with itinerant traders to access lumber for house repairs.
“I feel offended; I am embarrassed and I feel it is extremely discriminatory for persons who cannot help themselves to be placed in a bind because of politics,” she added.
Meanwhile, in response to Forde’s charges, Director of the Rural Development Commission, Randolph Outram, said: “There are a number of unfinished roads which we are examining and which we hope to complete in the very near future. A team from the RDC will make a site visit to Rockhampton Road soon.” (NC)