Responding to the concerns of Subryanville residents, who noted an increase in traffic since additional departments of the GGMC have been transferred to the area, the head of the agency has assured that the situation will soon be resolved, and that they are still working to vacate the premises.
The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) has already identified an alternative location to its controversial Subyranville space, Head of the agency Newell Dennison stated yesterday, stating that they are moving “swiftly” to resolve the matter.
Dennison was contacted yesterday to offer a response to a letter sent to him by Subryanville residents, who expressed concerns over increased traffic caused by the recent transfer of additional departments to the area, and the continued tenure of the GGMC.
Dennison, who said that he has not yet seen the letter, admitted that the situation has been compounded because the Commission was forced to relocate some of its departments following the shutdown of its Brickdam offices, in light of the mercury problem there. He stated that as soon as there is a resolution to the matter at Brickdam, which he said he does expect will be “soon”, those additional departments will be removed.
“The only reason that we have land management and some of the other sections there right now is because we have found ourselves in a situation that is complex…We have found ourselves having to dislocate some of our departments in order to keep some level of operation ability within the commission continuing…it wasn’t our intention that land management and finance and some of the other sections be there but it was a direct response to our situation that we’ve had ongoing in Brickdam…” Dennison related, noting regret at the inconvenience the move has caused.
Furthermore, he assured that the agency has not ceased their preparation of the alternative location for the complete removal of the Commission from its Subryanville location.
“We are moving very, very swiftly, as swiftly as we can to get ourselves in a position where one, Brickdam returns to its normalcy so that we can move the additional burden that has been put on Subryanville temporarily…And the second part, to move out completely from Subryanville…” he said, noting that although they have been moving toward resolving the issue since the beginning of the year, it has taken much longer than anticipated.
The residents, since last year, have been vocal of their disapproval of GGMC’s presence in the neighbourhood. It has been argued that locating its office there is unlawful because it constitutes conducting commercial activity within a residential area.
In August 2017, a meeting was convened between GGMC and a group of residents, where it was resolved that GGMC would be given until the end of the year to vacate, and in the meantime, would make provisions to address the parking issue. This was, however, under the understanding that the agency was operating under a one-year contract.
However, in a November 2017 correspondence, it was related that Dennison had erred in communicating the length of the lease, which was in fact two years.
In the letter sent out yesterday, addressed to Dennison and signed by Elizabeth Deane-Hughes, on behalf of the residents of Subryanville, it was stated:
“At the residents’ meeting held at your request, in August 2017, inter alia there was a detailed discussion on the increased traffic, chaotic parking and degradation to the structure of the parapets caused by GGMC’s occupation of 100& 103 A Fourth Avenue, Subryanville…It was a mutual understanding at the end of the aforesaid meeting that ways would be sought by GGMC to decrease the amount of traffic connected to the said rental. This formed a basis of mutual understanding and trust between the residents and GGMC.”
“Yet on or around 11 May 2018 you as signatory to the notice unilaterally disrespected and disregarded this understanding and trust by moving one of the most high traffic departments to its Subryanville location. This action has caused an increase in traffic, chaotic parking and rapid destruction to our parapets. The destruction to the structural integrity of the parapets is more rapid [than] usual due to the rains. Already there are now many pot holes developing along the eastern parapets on Earls Avenue where most of the vehicles are chaotically parked. We, the residents call for an immediate cessation to these actions by GGMC, its management and board which causes the destruction of our parapets and quiet enjoyment of our neighbourhood,” it added.
Also claiming that the increase in persons accessing GGMC’s offices has also led to an increase in debris and rubbish, the residents called for the GGMC to offer a response on the following by Friday: the date of cessation of the land management and financial divisions from Subryanville; the date of resolution of the traffic increase and chaotic parking in and around Earls and Fourth Avenue, Subryanville; and the date of GGMC’s removal from Subryanville.