Photo Credit: Clifton Skelton/BVI Platinum News
Opposition Member and Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser stated that the roads in the Territory are in deplorable conditions, and that it is unacceptable that the lone asphalt plant in the Territory do not have asphalt for the critically needed repairs.
In noting that the Territory’s roads are badly damaged, Hon. Fraser said, “Premier have you looked at our roads? I am not talking about the major items to be taken care of as far as roads are concerned, but basic asphalt; you’re being told that there’s no asphalt.”
The Third District Representative said that government should ensure that asphalt is available and mentioned that the asphalt company once noted that they were not paid by the government.
“We have an asphalt plant in Tortola…Why don’t we have asphalt. It’s the plant that we have, so the government should make sure the company has whatever it needs in order to supply us with this material. One time it is that the government isn’t paying them, another time is that they don’t have the material. Well how do you expect them to get material if you don’t give them the money,” Hon. Fraser said.
The Opposition Member further mentioned that some of the roads were damaged when government agencies needed to carry out works, and now, he said there are potholes everywhere.
“I have people in my district, they have roads there—they have holes deep enough to bury a child; and these are roads that they need to get to their places. A simple road in Hannah’s area, that the same government dug up to bury water lines and all the rest of it—time and time, every time you fix it they dig it up; we can’t get fixed because they don’t have asphalt,” Hon. Fraser said.
Hon Fraser added, “On the main road, you drive the road going down Sea Cows Bay, when you get to the Anglican Church, then it’s like a trampoline. We can do better. With all the money we have accessed since the hurricane, no one is asking you to modernize the highways, as yet...It’s got to be temporary because there is no way in the world that that could be the permanent fix, because we knew why the roads were destroyed. The roads were destroyed because they got flooded.”
Meanwhile, Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith announced that asphalt will be available this week. He told the House of Assembly in response to Hon. Fraser’s complaint that the company has given assurance.
“I’m assured that asphalt will be ready to begin work on the roads again by the next two days, by Thursday I understand,” Hon. Smith said.