No one in gov’t has said anything about the Route 32 fare increase

Dear Editor,

Since last year November, the route 32 minibuses pasted up a notice informing passengers of an increase in fares. The short drop according to the notice, increases from sixty dollars to an astounding one hundred dollars and for other drops the price has increased in a similar fashion, and to date no one from the government has said anything about it. This increase has been instigated by a so-called minibus union that only seems hell bent on running to all the various minibus zones and teaming up with the bus operators to increase the fares. Since the formation of this so-called minibus union, I never heard of them calling for better roads for the buses to traverse; lower fuel costs; ensuring that the buses are comfortable for passengers; getting the buses to work with the line instead of loading ‘hot plate’ style and causing traffic jams at almost every bus park; or getting rid of the touts who physically assault commuters, etc, but only increases all the time. I am wondering, therefore, if they represent the buses when the operators are claiming harassment by police. It has come to my understanding that this so-called union collects money from the buses when the day is up, and the monitors that they have could be seen drinking almost every day and sporting in style, so I am wondering if they have any system in place to give an account for the money that they collect.

Editor, reading Saturday’s paper, two ministers were replying to critics, and based on what they have written, they are defending allegations about their party and themselves in relation to their incompetence and vindictiveness. I am wondering which world are they living in that makes them unable to see the hardship/punishment that Guyanese have to endure every day, and as soon as someone complains, they are subjected to personal attacks or victimization and do not deal with the real issue.

Editor, during the festive season last year, a letter was published by Hydar Ally, saying that Christmas was not about lights alone. The truth of the matter is that this government is governing Guyana, and the PPP/C has made things so hard for us to survive that we cannot even celebrate the holidays as we used to; some of us cannot even celebrate it at all! On Christmas Eve and the day before, GWI officials and contract workers could be seen disconnecting water for a number of houses on New Road, Vreed-en-Hoop (WCD) and when I mentioned it to one of my friends, he informed me that it was happening similarly on the East Coast and around Georgetown for all those who owed water rates. In order for the consumer to get back his/her water, they would either have to pay their bills off or go on a payment plan and also pay a whopping six thousand dollars for the reconnection of the pipe (more than what GPL charges, which is more dangerous). To date I cannot understand why so much money is demanded when all that is required is digging a two to three foot hole in the ground (in some cases it might be slightly more) and turning a screw. At a time when people are scraping up what they have so that they and their children could enjoy themselves, they are faced with another burden. Did anyone notice that nearly 90 per cent of houses weren’t dressed up with decorations or fairy lights for the holidays? It wasn’t because of Hydar Ally’s timely letter but because of the hardship that is facing Guyanese.

Finally Editor, I recall Clement Rohee criticizing Hamilton Green for the state of the Le Repentir cemetery, and just out of curiosity, I would like to know who he would blame for the other burial grounds we have around Guyana. It’s amazing that some of those who are unemployed have formed groups and started to conduct wilderness tours into some of those so called burial grounds or charged people to guide them to, and protect their relatives’ burial spots.

Yours faithfully,

Sahadeo Bates



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