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Families stranded as Icacos road caves in

Published: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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Protests erupted in the fishing community of Icacos yesterday, after part of the Icacos Main Road collapsed into the Icacos River, leaving an estimated 300 families in jeopardy on being completely stranded.

Classes at the Icacos Government Primary School were also disrupted as scores of students and teachers could not cross the bridge to get to school. Fishermen who were eager to deliver their catch to Cedros and Point Fortin were also left stranded as only foot access was possible over the bridge.

Garbage trucks and delivery goods vehicles were also unable to cross the bridge, causing the closure of businesses.

Around 10 am, after no help came, students came out of the school in their numbers and staged a placard demonstration. At the lower end of Icacos Road, villagers piled debris on the road and set it ablaze. By the time Siparia Regional Corporation officials arrived, the villagers were incensed and promised to continue protests if a bailey bridge was not installed soon.

Councillor for Cedros Shankar Teelucksingh said since last week he had been warning that the road and bridge would cave in. Because Icacos is below sea level, Teelucksingh said the salt water from the ocean was washing up to the Icacos Bridge and undermining the infrastructure.

“Because of the bad weather conditions, the Icacos Main Bridge showed signs of deterioration. We had fractures into the infrastructure. We reported it to the engineering department of the Siparia Regional Corporation and the county superintendent Kamal Shaheed and engineer Satesh Ramsaroop, as well as members of the disaster unit in Siparia visited,” Teelucksingh said.

After perusal, it was recommended that urgent repairs be done on the road and a Bailey bridge be installed. Teelucksingh said he contacted the Minister of Local Government who promised to assist.

“We were told that engineers will be sent to assess the problem and install a Bailey bridge. Since then a portion of the road fell and we had singular traffic only but many people were afraid to pass over the bridge when they saw how much it had deteriorated,” Teelucksingh explained. Saying the residents were suffering, Teelucksingh called on the Government to fix the problem as soon as possible as the lives of hundreds of people were affected by the collapse of the road.