Barrackpore residents want landslips, road fixed

Residents of Papourie Road, Upper Barrackpore, burn debris on Thursday morning to protest the condition of the road. - MARVIN HAMILTON
Residents of Papourie Road, Upper Barrackpore, burn debris on Thursday morning to protest the condition of the road. - MARVIN HAMILTON

Residents of Upper Barrackpore blocked part of the Papourie Road on Thursday morning to highlight its state and to call on the Government to repair it.

They burnt debris and blocked the road, saying rapid land movement has caused at least three massive landslips in the past few months.

The road was later cleared, allowing cars to pass along one lane.

The worst of the three landslips is near the property of retired schoolteacher Phenola Bachan. Already, her two-storey concrete house and yard have several cracks. She fears losing the entire property to the landslip if nothing is done to repair it.

Bachan wants the authorities to stabilise the land and save her from further destruction.

Holding a placard at the front of her home, Bachan said, "I have spent a lot of money already, and the road keeps slipping away."

She said she has spent about $300,000 since January trying to save the property. She believes rain as well as an underground water leak are responsible for the rapid land movement.

On Tuesday, workers from the Works and Transport Ministry were doing remedial work on the site to allow cars to pass.

Phenola Bachan in front her Papourie Road, Upper Barrackpore home which has been damaged because of a landslip. - MARVIN HAMILTON

The president of the Princes Town/Barrackpore Taxi Drivers Association Rennis Ramjattan said the entire road from the Barrackpore police station to the Princes Town taxi stand is terrible.

However, he said workers from the ministry and the Penal/Debe and Princes Town Regional Corporations have been working together to repair it.

Like other people, he wants the road and landslips repaired, but believes protests are not the solution.

"The ministry is aware of the problem, but the work has not yet started. The public needs to give the ministry time to prepare the paperwork.

"Today, taxi drivers had to take another route which is longer. We too want the road fixed, but we did not protest," Ramjattan said.

Activist Edward Moodie said the saturated clay-type soil is being pulled about 800 feet downwards.

He believes the only way to stop the land from moving is to build a retaining wall on Bachan’s property and repair the surface area of the road afterward.

"Her house is cracked into two, and she is trying to do work. She has piled 32 feet deep, but that would not help. She needs a retaining wall down that hill and work to prevent the surface water from going underground and causing a further pull," Moodie said.

"If we have to go the way of litigation against the state showing that they are responsible for what has happened, we are willing to go that way."


"Barrackpore residents want landslips, road fixed"

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