Afflicted by garbage in empty lot and burning of garbage

Dear Editor,

I am a concerned citizen residing at 48 Princes and Russell Streets and I have been adversely affected by a series of events, which commenced on December 27th, 2017.

The first thing was the collapse of an overgrown balata tree, on the opposite side of the street, directly in front of my residence. The tree damaged some utility poles with transformers attached. GPL came the following day to retrieve the transformers. Approximately one week after they came for the transformers, they returned, replaced the damaged poles and reinstalled the transformers. However, they did not remove the damaged poles; they are still lying on the ground where they were left by the GPL crew. I am saddened by the fact that our government is endeavouring to restore the beauty of our city, but the necessary cooperation from entities like GPL, is not forthcoming. I am at a loss trying to figure out why GPL is not cleaning up their mess, especially since they are a 100% government-owned company.Now, I was pleasantly surprised when a City Council crew came with an excavator and began cleaning up the mess. I thought that was the end of the unsightly mess and that things would return to normal, but to my dismay, they threw everything in front of the unoccupied adjacent lot that is never cleaned. On more than one occasion, I reported this situation to a City Councillor; he told me that he brought the matter up at several council meetings, but nothing was done.

As far as I am aware, the owner of the lot where the garbage is being thrown, has been asked by the City Council to clean up the abandoned lot, but has disregarded the request. I am left to assume that the reason for this is that the individual moves in the upper echelons of society and believes he can get away with non-compliance. I am convinced that if that individual used to clean the lot and the parapet in front of their property, the City Council crew would not have thrown the debris there. I learnt that the City Council is now embarking on a system whereby they would clean defaulters’ lands on a continuous basis, and if no payment is made by the defaulters, they will take them to court, and sell their land. This property would be the perfect place to begin the implementation of this policy.

Approximately three weeks ago, a City Council crew came and removed two or three truck-loads of debris. My hopes were bolstered once more, and I thought, we are finally going to be able to enjoy a clean environment, but once again, my hopes were dashed. The crew never came back to remove the remaining debris, which is around another three truck-loads.

The latest development that has made our lives really uncomfortable, is that that area has been turned into a garbage incinerator by an individual who collects people’s garbage and burns it there. The toxic smoke is adversely affecting the residents of the area. Also, the health of my wife is being severely affected, so much so that her doctor recommends that we should get out of the area. But where we reside is not being rented; it is our property, so there is nowhere else for us to go. I am requesting that the Mayor and City Councillors look into this matter as soon as possible, because not only is this situation a health hazard, but also a fire hazard.

Yours faithfully,

Arthur Taylor

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