Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Roebuck Street relief coming


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DISGRUNTLED BUSINESS owners and workers along Roebuck Street, The City still have another month to put up with dust and reduced business.

April 30 is the rescheduled deadline which acting project manager with the Barbados Water Authority’s project execution unit Kim Best said businesses knew since February.

“We’re making the connections to the business houses and installing service lines. We also have to do the branch lines,” she said.

The initial announcement concerning the project took place in October last year where the water pipes servicing the area would be replaced with more efficient, modern lines. Back then it was said it would last a month.

The WEEKEND NATION visited Roebuck Street which had sections barred off where work was ongoing. As such traffic weaved among those areas while pedestrians dealt with the dust. One woman was spotted holding a handkerchief to her nose as she walked.

Supervisor at Classy Clippers, barber Aaron Roach also had his nose stuffed, albeit with tissue, as he worked. He said he now suffered with sinusitis.

“I never had sinus problems before. We had to get mop buckets and throw water outside to keep down the dust; they only start wetting recently,” he said.

Roach said they had lost a lot of money due to the construction as people no longer used the road as before. As such, he said he was owed compensation.

“I just want them to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and reimburse we,” he said.

Manager of Starlight Supplies, Marguerita Yarde said the situation was “horrible”.

“It’s been really difficult, especially with the dust coming in even though they are watering down the road once a day. This place is fairly big so we keep struggling to keep it clean – when you clean one area and move on, the first area get dirty again. I would like to see this work finish as soon as possible,” she said.

Outside Ruff N Tuff Remix Boutique, the shoes on display were all wrapped in plastic to protect them from the dust. The store clerks inside, who requested anonymity, did not think this article would make any difference as the previous one did not.

“We know the reason for the work but we ain’t getting compensate and talking won’t make a difference. Nobody seems to know when it goin’ finish,” one said.

Vedat Tok, the manager of 2 Plus Mega Store, said dust was no longer a problem but business was suffering anyway.

“A couple months ago we had problems with dust but not now. The digging is affecting business though because people only pass here if they have to or else they avoid this mess,” he said.

One worker, who requested not only her identity be hidden, but also the name of both the store and even the entire mall she worked in, said business along Roebuck Street was under threat.

“It is stopping business because pedestrians are not coming through – people are avoiding the dust. I understand it’s for our betterment in terms of water and you will go through setbacks but this going on too long. This could put someone out of business,” she said.


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