On Tuesday, February 19, I was at Parika with a car to travel with the 11pm roll-on/roll-off ferry to Supenaam, Essequibo. Many vehicles were there so some would have definitely been left behind. The vessel began loading at about 9.45pm, taking in the larger trucks first (as usual), then the smaller vehicles. When the ferry was almost full at 10.45pm, fifteen minutes before departure time, a very big truck arrived on the stelling to travel. The person in charge declared that this truck was there before the smaller vehicles, which was strongly contradicted by the other drivers. The clerk insisted that this truck was scheduled to travel, although it was not there before and a small vehicle had to disembark to allow this truck to get on board. The small vehicle then returned on the boat.
This blatantly showed that this truck was not entitled to travel, more especially that it was not there when the other trucks were loaded, and at least two cars were robbed of their rightful turn.
In addition to that, there was some space on the ferry to hold at least one more car, so there is some level of victimisation as well, which, on top of inconveniencing commuters, is also a loss of revenue.
The government, especially Minister Benn, should ensure that these ferries benefit all Guyanese, not just a greedy and unscrupulous few. Many complaints are made about these despicable acts and nothing is being done. Transparent systems should be put in place to curb these unsavoury practices and those found culpable should be severely dealt with.
This situation has remained a scourge travelling to and from the Essequibo Coast for years now. The people of Essequibo, as well as other travellers should let their voices be heard as well, so as to help stop this nonsense now.
M S Baksh