BARRACKPORE residents are appealing to Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan to ensure that a bridge in their community does not collapse. The bridge, which one resident said is over 60-years-old, has been cracking since November. Since January, Ministry of Works crews begun patching these cracks.
Priya Jacob who lives at Cottage Road, Barrackpore, said the residents are afraid to use the bridge. “This bridge can collapse at any moment, it is not safe for anyone to drive on it or walk on it for that matter,” Jacob told Newsday. “Just this morning, there was a three-foot drop from the road and they filled it up with material, placed some barrels to make it a one-way and left.” Jacob’s daughter attends the nearby Monkey Town Presbyterian School. “The school is right next to this bridge, what is going to happen if it collapses when there are school children walking in this area? How many lives have to be lost for them to step in do something real to rectify this problem?” She said motorists have taken to using Cottage Road as an alternative route but she said there is a faulty bridge there as well. “There is an old wooden bridge in Cottage Road but that can’t take the weight of the big trucks, so it is not safe to use either.” Simmon Mohan, 60, said there are seven schools in the immediate vicinity and the road is a main thoroughfare. “There are three Secondary schools and four Primary schools right around here, this road takes you to Barrackpore, to Moruga, to Penal…it is very well used. If it is to collapse at any time, the results could be disastrous,” Mohan said. The ministry issued an advisory yesterday that a Bailey bridge is to be installed in place of the current bridge.