City Hall should demolish illegal structures

Dear Editor,

This habit of people building ugly, dilapidated, and disgraceful structures must stop.  City Hall or the Public Works Ministry must demolish them quickly before this becomes an addiction.  When action is taken, the perpetrators will cry foul and accuse the ministry or City Hall of preventing them from earning a decent living, which to me is very indecent, so the authorities must move quickly. They must have officers on patrol looking out for such structures and taking the appropriate action.

I am speaking of a location near David and Queen Streets.  The authorities cannot miss this ugly and unlawful structure.  On one side is a decent small parlour which is authorized; on the other is another which is illegal.  This is unfair, because the second can sell more cheaply since they pay no taxes, collect no VAT, answer to no one, and have no respect for the law.

In many cases they do not even have a pleasant structure which could be collapsed.  As if we live in a land of the dread, they use ugly old pieces of wood and old tarpaulin, and then they move in large old refrigerators, as if they have a licensed parlour.  Then they start to put out tables and chairs, and even cook there.

All this makes us look like a backward country without laws and by-laws where anyone can do anything, and play any music regardless of its level and lewdness. These people do not even think of knocking down the structures when finished, so they become permanent.

To make matters worse, they usually open next to licensed businesses which pay taxes, collect VAT, pay NIS, and fulfil government and city laws, creating unfair competition.

This must be stopped, and the Minister needs to act if the city is incompetent, which it usually is.  If someone repairs a fence the city inspectors see and make threats and stop work, but those who put up permanent structures which bring disgrace to Georgetown are allowed to do so in many places.

Unless the government and City Hall want Guyana to look like a shantytown, they must act and remove all such structures from the face of Georgetown – and quickly.

Yours faithfully,
Roshan Khan

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