Our Readers' Opinions
November 26, 2004
North Leeward needs this road

EDITOR: Many are against or for the cross country road because of their political affiliation. The government does not seem to instil enough public awareness as to the benefits of a cross country road; positive public relations is lacking. On the other hand, the opposition is hell bent on stopping the road’s construction, no matter the outcome of any feasibility analysis or environmental impact assessment. I couldn’t care less about either political party because my interests lie with my people. {{more}}

There are a few sticky points that Vincentians, especially residents of North Leeward, need to understand. First, many of the personalities vehemently against the road are not residents of North Leeward. They have no interest in the betterment of Rose Hall and Troumaca.

List of priorities

The opposition leader publicly made a statement to the effect that this government should not consider building a road between Rose Hall and Troumaca whilst there are other roads that need resurfacing. What are those other roads? These other roads are surely not in Chateaubelair, Spring Village or Petit Bordel. This clearly shows that residents of North Leeward are not high on his list of priories.

Furthermore, residents of North Leeward and North Windward need to know where their interests lie. This road will make you central and strategic, increase your property values and boost economic activities. Irrespective of party politics, it is wise to keep your interests in the back of your heads! Either the pundits, who are against the road, have an axe to grind with the government, or they do not want Rose Hall and North Leeward to elevate from the status of the “bread basket” to the “economic engine”.

Check yourself

Simply put, a cross country road does not benefit them or their constituencies directly, thus they cannot see the benefits. North Leeward and North Windward residents check yourselves! Remind yourselves of this: when Bequia obtained an airport, many mainland Vincies were ranting because they could not justify how an airport in Bequia will directly benefit them. Sadly, it seems that is the way some Vincies think.

Second, for a so-called intellectual to declare that he does not see any benefits of a cross country road to SVG is shocking. The benefits are indirect! Roads are part of the many necessary support infrastructures that lead to economic regeneration.

Too much self-doubt

Third, it is abundantly clear to me that Vincies harbour too much self-doubt, not cautious optimism. If the Taiwanese were to subcontract this project to foreigners, we would not have any Franco fiasco. If opponents of the road were to argue they harbour doubts that Franco construction may not build a road that is of a high quality, it is a valid argument.

It is critical that the construction company employs environmental-friendly methods of road construction because to cut through the interior without knowing where to dump debris, build bridges and reinforcement walls, etc., would be a waste of time and effort.

This government should not be afraid to cancel the project or even revise its scope, regardless of how much money has been spent because if there is not enough planning for this project, it will cost Vincies much more in the future to fix upcoming problems.

Word of caution

A word of caution: if this government knows that the cross country road is not going to be of the highest quality possible, it should not even think of continuing with its construction. It will create more problems than solutions. I am confident SVG has the skills and knowledge necessary to complete this project. However, there seems to be many self-doubters who would not even want to look at the other side of a coin much less envision the benefits of this project. It is high time that residents of North Leeward look at their priorities and interests. Politics aside, this project will benefit North Leeward residents the MOST!


Rose Hall Resident