I have intensified an examination of existing conditions in Georgetown, in order to push as far as possible the process to satisfy the motion passed in the National Assembly to restore our capital city. It is a monumental task which will require the fullest cooperation, competence and commitment by all, and I mean all of us.
On Friday I was caught in the middle of a contentious matter; there were huge double- axle trucks loaded with rice parked in front of businesses on Water Street.
The truck drivers had left the Mahaicony area since 3am that morning and were lined up waiting their turn to discharge their cargo. I was there near noon that day.
The businessmen however complained that these huge vehicles denied them and their customers parking all day, and worse, vehicles coming with goods to be delivered to them had nowhere to park.
The huge trucks also blocked the flow of traffic, which was generally bad for businesses.
The problem is the lack of a proper parking plan for the central business district of Georgetown, and this situation repeats itself elsewhere.
Trucks with sand and lumber park all day in lower High Street blocking others; it looks ugly and daily destroys our parapets and road shoulders, but they say they provide a service and must make a living. Our under-staffed, under-equipped Mayor and City Council is at risk.
The answer is a proper plan for the city.
The Minister of the Methodist Church in the High Street area complained of the ugly new dumpsite in front of the church on D’Urban and High Streets.
It is an open lot, and is being used thanks to a number of factors beyond the Mayor and City Council’s control.
However, we have suggested a solution to the powers-that-be: Open Haags Bosch 24 hours a day, so as not to give uncaring persons an excuse to dump their waste just about anywhere in the city.
Drive, or better, walk around Georgetown and each block provides examples of how much needs to be done to restore our capital.
Can we do it? Yes we can, but in the end, it is men that matter.
Apart from the four sub-committees, already established, we will need a central body or persons to coordinate and get things really on the move. It can be done, and we rose to the challenge before ‒ one example:-
For Carifesta just about everyone said that to build and furnish houses in Festival City to accommodate the hundreds of artists and delegations expected to descend on us was impossible.
The then President LFS Burnham identified Bernard ‘Bunny’ Fernandes to spearhead the task.
Day-in day-out, seven days a week, I supported Bunny at the ministerial level and the impossible was accomplished to the satisfaction and surprise of every one of the overseas visitors to the first ever Carifesta 1972.
Let me add this caveat: out of the exercise no millionaire emerged, no folks with big bank accounts. It was the work of super patriots the likes of Bunny Fernandes, Steve Narain, Philip Allsopp, George Henry and a host of others who made it possible on a basic budget.
Some of those types still exist, and they must not be overlooked in favour of those who are politically aligned.
In the late 19th century we had the likes of Henry Kirke, Sheriff of Demerara. What we need is someone who is action oriented, and knows the city well to get this monumental task done.
At the appropriate time, we can suggest who that action man or woman may be ‒ but relieved of bureaucratic strain.
Again, can we do it? Yes we can!
This government will be the beneficiary, but they need get over the hurdle of only appointing or trusting tasks to the circle of party faithful; the city needs a much wider net and good sense, or if you prefer it, magnanimity, if the motion in Parliament is to bear rich fruit and provide a reward to ourselves and our children