Since 2009 instructions were given to speedboat owners providing a passenger service at various locations throughout Guyana that sheds should be on their boats before they would be permitted to operate. Amidst cries and requests for extensions, the owners complied with the orders and passengers are now travelling in some sort of comfort with protection from the rain and sun. I am somewhat fortunate to be travelling a lot to various locations in Guyana and sometimes I have to use speedboats. Based on my observations I’ve penned letters about the locations of the boats, attitudes of the operators and the service they provided.
On Thursday, 22nd March on my journey to Charity we were waiting at Parika to board a boat to take us to Supenaam. Whilst we were there, two men approached us and told us to come and board the boat. Then we saw a boat without any shed at the side of the steps, but despite protests and complaints, everyone joined the boat. One man enquired if the boat engines were working because the last time he travelled with that boat one of the engines broke down. The operators jokingly said that everything was okay.
Editor, I asked him why the boats with sheds are not working, and I learnt that they have to wait until this boat is loaded before they could load, because if they come to the stelling, passengers might choose to board the boat with the shed instead of the boat we were in. Now why would those in authority allow such boats to operate after changing the rules some eight years ago? Are they practising favouritism? That is not the only location that speedboats without sheds are operating. Are people taking bribes to allow this lawlessness? The fare is still the same as that of the other boats which have better facilities. Two monitors were there all the time and they just carried on business as usual.