Jal el-Dib Residents Make their Voices Heard during Rush Hour Sit-in

Posted on: April 03, 2012 at 23:09:34
Angry residents held a sit-in at the location of a dismantled bridge on the Jal el-Dib highway on Tuesday to protest the lack of an alternative for traffic.

The sit-in that was held during the morning rush hour caused bumper-to-bumper traffic on the highway that links Beirut to the North after the protestors blocked the road for a short period.

The demonstrators put patriotic songs, waved Lebanese flags and raised slogans saying “the bridge is a right and not a name.”

Metn MP Ibrahim Kanaan told OTV that it was unacceptable to marginalize the region.

The cabinet should decide how to solve the Jal el-Dib traffic, he said as he joined protestors.

The bridge was dismantled in February after warnings that the structure could collapse.

The decision to remove it was taken after a building collapsed in Ashrafiyeh’s Fassouh neighborhood, leaving 27 people dead and 12 others injured.

The collapse sparked widespread anger and accusations that authorities had failed to address the dismal state of old properties across the country.

The residents of Jal el-Dib and its surroundings have vowed to hold a sit-in every Tuesday until their demands to guarantee an entrance and exit to the town are met.

Head of the Council of Development and Reconstruction Nabil al-Jisr has blamed the government for stalling the construction of a new bridge.

Engineer Elie Helou also said that the council had presented the maps to the cabinet and is awaiting the response to continue its work.

He said the new bridge will be 150 meters away from the location of the one that was dismantled, but stressed that Jal el-Dib municipality refused setting up two U shaped bridges on the highway.
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