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Residents stranded in upscale community
Workmen called in to repair a section of Scotland Terrace, Andalucia, Maraval, which collapsed on Thursday cutting off 26 households, worked through the rain yesterday to bring relief to residents who can only get out of the area via a narrow make-shift bridge. The front yard of Peter and Mayling Aleong’s home has become a thoroughfare for the residents.
President of the Andalucia Residents’ Association Victor Mouttet praised the Ministry of Works and contractor Beckles Environmental Services Limited for their quick response to the situation. Mouttet, who has been living in the area for the past 20 years, said while the area has flooded before, the damage was never to the extent that occurred over the past few days.
He said heavy rains several weeks ago caused one half of the road to collapse. Several heavy downpours last Thursday added to the problem, causing the remaining half of the road to slip away, marooning residents on the upper part of Scotland Terrace.
Mouttet said when news of the first slippage reached Works Minister Emmanuel George, he visited and assured that repair works would begin immediately. Contractors Brian Beckles and Chandrabose Maharaj said work would continue late into last night, as well as tonight and tomorrow, to construct a box drain and a bridge. Mayling Aleong, who lost plants and flowers along the side of her house where the land gave way, is enduring the inconvenience with a smile and understanding attitude.
“I am hoping they finish on time but the rain is keeping them back...I prefer to lose some plants and to know my house is safe,” she said. Aleong has continued to occupy her home, although with a reduced water supply. However, her neighbours, Keith and Cynthia Downes, had to seek alternative accommodation when a utility pole supplying electricity to their home fell into the river, after excavation work by the contractor.
In addition to the damage to the multi-million-dollar property, a portion of the front wall was removed to facilitate repairs. Keith Downes said he was not looking for financial compensation, just reinstatement. “I am trusting that the contractor will do what he says and reinstate my property and make it as he found it,” he said.
Assuring residents that they are working assiduously to meet their promised deadline of Thursday, Beckles said: “I know Mr Downes is being inconvenienced right now but he is going to get something far superior to what he had before...We are doing what we have to do to ensure this problem never occurs again and we have to do it right. “Although the rain is hampering us, we continue to work throughout until late at night to get the job done,” he said.
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