As a new week begins, bus drivers plying the Marigot to Londonderry route have still not been able to meet with Public Works Minister, Ian Pinard, to seek solutions to a problem that they are facing in that area.
Last week, bus drivers and others who use that route staged protest action near the Douglas Charles Airport because the sea has been breaching the wall in the area causing seawater to invade the road.
They say for years the seawater has been damaging their vehicles and are demanding that the government do something about the situation.
However, there seems to have been some miscommunication as it relates to the location where the meeting was supposed to be held this week.
“We understood that they said the meeting will be held in town, but that was not revealed to none of us,” bus driver Stacia Williams told Dominica News Online (DNO) on Thursday.
According to her, the bus drivers waited for the minister on Wednesday at Marigot and he never showed up.
“Since 10:00am Wednesday we waited for the Minister to begin the meeting; a lot of people were there,” she said. “We stayed up to lunchtime and nothing happened so we left.”
She said the first time they met the government side said they would return to Marigot to have a meeting “because that is where the problem is, and there I believe is the best place to hold that meeting.”
She added, “We have not received any message or a call from the minister and we are still waiting for answers. We want to know how much money it will cost to solve that problem.”
She said the bus drivers were not aware of the meeting in Roseau. “It was not communicated to us. If he had communicated that with us we would know, but we are sought of confused………We are waiting to see how long they are going to get back to us”
Williams said the bus drivers have decided not to continue with the protest action in order to give the minister time to solve the problem. She described the situation as a serious one which needs to be addressed.
Meanwhile in an interview on state-owned DBS Radio on Friday, Public Works Minister Ian Pinard, gave his account of what happened.
“We informed them that the meeting is going to take place in Roseau and the persons in Marigot indicated that they wanted to meet in Marigot and we informed them that there was a meeting scheduled in Marigot already which took place and we wanted the next meeting to be held in Roseau,” Pinard explained.
He said another meeting is expected to be held in Roseau, with a date to be announced later.
“In fact I have given the Permanent Secretary instructions to call again and rescheduled that meeting, so we are hoping to have a meeting with the residents of Marigot. We would like the meeting to be held in Roseau…we have all the information that we require and we are hoping that we can give them an update as to what is transpiring,” the minister stated.
Pinard said that the government is “very concerned” about the matter. He said it was discussed in cabinet on Tuesday and they are “looking at all possible ways to come up with the right decisions.”
“Because a lot of proposals that we have are very expensive, the proposals are in millions of dollars so we have to make sure it is done and it is done right. That is why we need more information and more time to make a decision,” the minister stated.
He said the government is working very hard and will have a solution for this problem.