Hilaire Calls For Patience, Promises Road Repairs Will Be Done – St. Lucia Times News

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Amidst a barrage of opposition United Workers Party (UWP) criticism over the state of Saint Lucia’s roads, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire has indicated that the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) administration will address the matter.

And he called on Saint Lucians to be patient in an interview with reporters on Monday on the sidelines of a meeting of the Cabinet.

“Road repair will be done. There is a national road rehabilitation programme that will be undertaken,” the Castries South MP observed.

He noted that the rains have been relentless and there has not been a break for some of the work to start.

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He told reporters that potholing and road maintenance are regular features.

“It is annoying and all of us – every single person, minister, bus driver, everyone is annoyed when you have to be going into potholes and the potholes are filled with water. Trust me, it’s an annoyance for everybody,” Hilaire declared.

“This is not even political, but the truth is and the reality is as soon as we get some respite some of the work will start,” the Minister stated.

In addition, he explained that the government was ensuring that it has all the resources to do a national programme.

He explained that there was supposed to have been a lockbox with monies collected from the fuel taxes.

In this regard, Hilaire recalled that in the last few months fuel prices have been very high.

“When we found the key for the lockbox there was nothing in the lockbox, so there’s actually no money for us to start the road rehabilitation programme and it’s still a wonder where all the lockbox money went to,” the Castries South MP said.

Nevertheless, he told reporters that Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Philip J. Pierre has been doing ‘quite a lot’ to ensure resources will be available to start the national road rehabilitation programme throughout Saint Lucia.

“So there would be different communities starting at different times. But once we start getting a little respite from the rain, we should be starting some of the road rehabilitation works,” Hilaire said.

In this regard, he called on Saint Lucians to be patient and bear with the government.

“We really have no control over the rains. We have no control over the materials and supplies that are needed – they have to be imported from overseas. But we are aware of the issue. We too are annoyed and frustrated by the state of the roads like all Saint Lucians,” he said.

“I am also pleased to announce that we had started rehabilitation of the Barre St Joseph main road. I think the last time that road was touched was thirty-five years ago I was told,” Hilaire told reporters.

He also said the Marigot, Marchand, and Vieux Fort roads were undergoing rehabilitation but the work stopped due to the rains.

“On the one hand we have a tremendous work programme going on that has been affected by the rains and of course, the regular road maintenance has also been affected. But we will get on course, and we will deal with this issue,” Hilaire promised.

Headline photo: Stock image

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