As reported in SN of March 20, the Deputy Mayor for the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) chaired a meeting of the Finance Committee to consider the City’s Budget for 2012 and in her brief remarks she admitted that for over twenty years the budget catered for notational balances rather than provisions for satisfactory services for the citizenry in all areas under its mandate. When situations become critical because of shortfall in revenue, the City in its usual brinkmanship mode appeals for the imposition of higher taxation and Central Government bailout to cover its financial mismanagement rather than make do in a planned and responsible way by efficiently allocating in critical areas the limited resources under its control.
For over half a century I have been living in Bel Air Park, a district designated as Greater Georgetown and in the last fifteen years or so little or nothing has been done to the infrastructure in the area. I have no street lights, potable water, central sewerage, the roads have not been maintained and are pitted with potholes, the drains are silted with weed growth and solid waste pollution, the sidewalks are overgrown with grass and garbage collection is done once per week during those times when the contractor is not on strike for unpaid services.
There has been no semblance of minimal service provided for those of us who pay some the highest rates and taxes to the M&CC’s coffers.
The Deputy Mayor failed in her presentation to concede that climate and topography have dictated that flooding has and will be a problem for the City and that a programme to improve existing facilities through recurring maintenance operations will be required.
Instead she skirted the issue by not providing adequate funding in the budget to drain the City by an efficient interconnected network of pumped and gravity systems and bluffing by concluding that flooding of the City will continue as long as excessive rainfall persists even with fully functioning kokers with desilted outfall channels discharging under a good tidal range into a bar free Demerara River. After all she should have noted that the recent flood in the City was exacerbated by well over 50% of its drainage pumps either down or operating well below capacity while its gravity system was in a deteriorated state.
If the trend continues of M&CC doing little or nothing to improve existing drainage services citizens could expect more frequent floods over a larger area and for longer periods.