Rockley residents still feel cut off

Residents of Rockley New Road are complaining that they are still not getting due consideration from those working on a pipeline project in their area and are calling for an alternative route in and out of their community.

At a meeting earlier this month, General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority Dr John Mwansa had promised improved communication with the residents “so that distrust can be removed”.

Mwansa also said back then that while it was difficult to eliminate all inconvenience, the authorities were working to find a solution that would minimize disruption and provide access for emergency vehicles, as well as for residents with special needs.

However, in an email communication this week, the residents said they had not received any assurance that they would “have unfettered 24-hour access to all parts of Rockley New Road during the entire period of the project”.

“All the meetings, messages and media attention were organized to achieve this goal, without success to date,” they said.

The project, which should see to the installation of three water mains, is to be completed by June.

Residents say they have not be given due consideration by those working on this pipeline project.
Residents say they have not be given due consideration by those working on this pipeline project.

Initially operators of Infra Inc, the company that has been sub-contracted by IFL Pipeline Inc. to construct a water transmission main, proposed that “preparatory work” would run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The company had also said vehicular traffic would be restricted during excavation of the trenches, which could be as deep as 1.5 metres and as long as 50 metres.

It had also stated that testing would be done in 100 metre sections.

“BWA/INFRA continue to talk about possible access, non-feasible access routes and monetary losses. This is unacceptable and we will not settle for any arrangement that does not provide us the 24 hour access we require to earn our livelihoods and keep us safe,” said the residents.

They argued that with the work in progress, there were areas on the road that were left “with sand, rocks and other building materials, endangering our feet and vehicles”, as well as causing a build up of dust.

Following a meeting with their parliamentary representative Dr Maria Agard, BWA and Infra Inc. officials earlier this month, alternative routes were sought but the residents said they were found to be “not feasible”.

And while residents welcomed the permission from Fosters Bakery to allow passage through its property, they said it would not solve “the major problems as most Rockley New Road is east of Fosters Bakery”.

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