Boat operators call for proper mooring at Parika stelling

Members of the Parika Speed Boat Owners Association are frustrated over the docking arrangements at the decaying Parika Stelling, which they say are inadequate for the daily traffic and leave them vulnerable to damage from waves and passing vessels.

“This place is way too congested, that’s the present situation at this wharf,” said Clarence Belle as he and several other members of the Association voiced their displeasure at the state of several issues at the Parika Stelling.

Passengers descending the slippery, deteriorating stairs to board the boats.
Passengers descending the slippery, deteriorating stairs to board the boats.

Among the issues raised by Belle and his associates was the congestion that prevails daily as passengers attempt to navigate their way to the various boats to get to their respective destinations. Many passengers have often found themselves on the wrong boat and in the wrong destination as a result, they said.

Belle explained that speed boat operators from Bartica, Supenaam, Leguan and Wakenaam all vie for space at the stelling, where a single set of stairs serves as the gangway onto the boats. He added that because boats from all four locations are at the same gangway, passengers sometimes mistakenly board the wrong boat and find themselves in the wrong locations.

Belle said that on several occasions, passengers heading to Bartica have found themselves in Supenaam, while those bound for Supenaam have found themselves in Leguan, and so on. He said that in these cases, these individuals would have to be brought back by other speed boat pilots.

Belle explained that this problem started in November of 2011, after the Transport and Harbours Department made the decision to relocate the speed boat operations to enable the docking facilities for the MV Sabanto and the MV Kanawan, the two ferries which were donated by the Chinese Government to the Government of Guyana early last year. The base of operations for the speed boats was relocated from the southern side of the wharf to the northern side, which is devoid of proper mooring facilities or a proper step to facilitate boarding.

Belle said that their current facilities are simply insufficient to cater for the over 300 boats that land daily. He further explained that that because of their location, the speed boats are usually vulnerable to heavy waves caused by rising tides and passing vessels. He added that the waves usually toss the boats about and cause them to collide with each other or slam into the wharf, causing considerable damage.

Clarence Belle (left) and other members of the Parika Speed Boat Owners Association.
Clarence Belle (left) and other members of the Parika Speed Boat Owners Association.

The MV Malali, he noted, also causes considerable damage to the speed boats. The present area where the boats operate is close to the area where the Malali is usually docked and strong waves would sometimes send the vessel crashing into the smaller boats, rendering them unusable.

Belle said that the waves also make it difficult for boarding, since a moving boat is quite difficult for passengers, and even the experienced boat captains to board. Elderly persons, he pointed out, usually have an especially difficult time boarding the boats.

As a result of the situation, Belle stated that formal representation was made to Transport Minister Robeson Benn, who he said stated that breakers would be installed to help deal with the waves. This development has not materialised.

Stabroek News made calls on December 31st as well as yesterday to Minister Benn, who was unavailable for comment. Calls were also made to the General Manager of the Transport and Harbours Department, who also was not available for comment.

“Things get so bad sometimes that they would move us back to the old location,” said Belle.

Passengers for Supenaam, Leguan and Bartica all use the same area to board the boats.
Passengers for Supenaam, Leguan and Bartica all use the same area to board the boats.

For this reason, he recommended that it is in the best interest of the speed boat operators that their landing be moved to its initial location, where the wharf, which broke strong waves as they come in, avails them some amount of protection. He also said that the facilities that are used daily should be renovated since their dilapidated state has caused more than a few accidents.

Latest in Local News

The newly appointed Deputy Commissioner General Hema Khan (left) with Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board Rawle Lucas. She was introduced during a press conference held yesterday.

GRA sacks heads of Customs, HR

Chairman of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Board Rawle Lucas yesterday announced a major shake-up in the management of the tax body, including the removal of the heads of its Customs and Human Resources divisions for unsatisfactory performance and the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner-General.

European Union Ambassador Jernej Videtič (left) hands over the Coastal Engineering Design Manual for Guyana Sea and River Defences to Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson. (Ministry of Public Infrastructure photo)

$2B in EU funding for sea defences

While urging the swift operationalisation of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC), European Union (EU) Representative to Guyana Ambassador Jernej Videtič yesterday handed over a $2 billion cheque to Minister of Finance Winston Jordan to aid in improving the country’s sea and river defences.

Members of the City Constabulary in their ceremonial dress march along Regent Street yesterday prior to the arrival of the President. (Photo by Keno George)

Put citizens first

With the controversial parking meter contract instigating fractures within the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), President David Granger yesterday reminded city councillors that they are accountable to the citizens who voted them into office.

Injuried: Dhaniram Tribeni

Canal Number One businessman beaten, shot in home invasion

A Canal Number One businessman is now injured after he was beaten and shot early yesterday morning when armed bandits invaded his home and escaped with a quantity cash and jewellery.

default placeholder

City councillor accused of invading Town Clerk’s privacy

A city councillor has been accused of invading the privacy of Town Clerk Royston King and his family after contacting one of King’s daughters about the controversial trip he made to Mexico with the Mayor and other council members.

default placeholder

Chainsaw operator, 16, charged over rape of 10-yr-old

A 16-year-old chainsaw operator was yesterday charged with the rape of a child under the age of 16 years old and later released into the custody of his parents.

Students of Guyana and Suriname who participated in the first Inter-Guianas Spelling Bee Competition, held yesterday at NCERD.

Guyana overall w-i-n-n-e-r in first Inter-Guianas Spelling Bee

Guyana’s students yesterday emerged the overall winners in the first Inter-Guianas Spelling Bee Competition. The Spelling Bee brought together students of Guyana and Suriname, from ages 10 to 14, in a concept of solidarity dubbed “Guianame.” The participants were drawn from several regions in Guyana and from the AlphaMax Academy, which has been the

Director of the Maternal and Child Health Department of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr Earthaneisa Hamilton.

Ministry ups monitoring of pregnant women with Zika-like symptoms

While there have been no reported cases of pregnant women with the Zika virus, the Ministry of Public Health has decided to classify those who display Zika-like symptoms as being high-risk pregnancies, ensuring that they will be monitored more closely.


About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: