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Barrackpore retiree fears she might lose her property to landslip

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Homeowner Phenola Bachan shows a crack straight down the middle of her home, caused a landlsip on Papourie Road, Upper Barrackpore. – Lincoln Holder

A massive landslip at Papourie Road in Upper Barrackpore is threatening the property of a retired schoolteacher who wants the authorities to stabilise the land and save her from further destruction.

Phenola Bachan said she spent about $300,000 from January to now trying to save the property.

“I give up. I do not know what to do again. My house keeps cracking as the land moves. Maybe if they can fix the road and the underground problem, my property could still be saved,”

Single lane traffic along Papourie Road, Upper Barrackpore, after a major landslip damaged the road. – Lincoln Holder

She said she retired from the teaching service eight years ago, has spent all her gratuity money and does not have any more to secure the property.

She said she has lived on the property all her life and had expected to be relaxing after retirement. A representative visited, but no work was done underground to deal with the root of the problem.

Her nightmare began in January when the land started moving rapidly. A retaining wall at the front of her home keeps sinking due to excessive water underground.

Unsure what was causing this, she went to the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) for help. However, workers are yet to fix the underground issue. While she believes the authority might be culpable, no one know for sure if a line broke or the root cause of the leak.

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A sign directs single-lane traffic on Papourie Road, Upper Barrackpore, on Wednesday. – Lincoln Holder

There were workers from the Works and Transport Ministry on the site doing remedial work to allow cars to pass. The road has single-lane traffic.

“This is the third time for the year these workers are here. The materials help the road surface in that it helps make the road passable for now,” Bachan said.

She said she intends to write to the Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan to get some relief.