Following continued complaints and recent protest action by residents of the Bendals community, the Government is promising to seriously address the issues of dust from the quarries and the deplorable condition of the area’s roads.
According to the Minister of Public Works Maria Browne, the quarries are producing twice as much aggregate as they would normally do, due to ongoing road works across the island.
This increased output has increased the volume of dust being emitted from the Bendals Quarry, which continues to impact the villagers, many of whom have faced health complications.
Minister Browne says the Government will be moving to install dust-suppression systems at both the Bendals and Burma quarries, in the first instance, to reduce the difficulties to which residents are subjected in adjoining villages.
Some people are hoping this promise is not the usual lip service – paid by the Government to quell residents’ emotions – and then nothing is done until the weeks leading up to an election.
Meanwhile, Browne says that road works are progressing steadily and points to work that has been done on the Lablahlie (Loblolly) Road in the Grays Farm community.
MP Richard Lewis, who represents the Rural West constituency, has been pleading with the Government, since his stint as a senator, to fix that road, in addition to other roadways and the drains in the community.
Reportedly, repaving has been completed now, allowing residents to park their vehicles and traffic to move freely.
Meanwhile, work on the Crabbe Hill road is estimated to take approximately six more weeks to complete, while the road leading to Fort James, according to officials, will be resurfaced by the end of April.
The surface had been partially destroyed to plant new water pipes.