Atlantic Gardens was created by the Demerara Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd as a lovely, peaceful ocean-side residential area, but this neighbourhood is constantly and openly violated by lawless persons in and out of the community and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) is doing nothing about it. This upscale area used to be known for its aesthetics, but not anymore.
Here is the situation:
1. A heavy duty vehicle repair shop just outside Atlantic Gardens, opposite Apex Educational Institute, has taken to storing sections of large vehicles, including cabins and trays, among other paraphernalia, within the community, providing criminals with hiding places from where they have been pouncing on hapless passers-by. The vehicles parked outside my relative’s building are no exception. Apart from the criminal factor, these vehicle parts are an eyesore and harbour mosquitoes.
This is driving down property values and rental values in the area. In my relative’s case, two filthy, humungous vehicles, one a hymac and the other a container tractor lorry, were placed opposite their exclusive, executive-style property and are preventing the property from being rented to diplomats and expatriates because they are turned off by the glaring eyesores in the immediate vicinity. Other property owners are experiencing the same difficulties.
2. Furthermore, Atlantic Gardens has become a romping ground for horses owned by negligent persons. These horses roam the streets at all hours, greedily eating decorative plants, defecating freely and driving terror into residents who are in constant danger of being trampled or kicked. It is reported that some children were kicked by the horses. The animals are also a traffic hazard.
3. The situation is compounded by the fact that an auto sales and vehicle repair shop has been established at an inconvenient location opposite the entrance of Atlantic Gardens. Every day, road users in Atlantic Gardens risk life and limb because the vehicles being attended to at this auto-body, auto sales and mechanic shop are parked on the reserves, preventing drivers from swerving to avoid accidents with speeding vehicles heading to the highway from within Atlantic Gardens. The citizens cannot use the reserves for any useful purpose.
I have nothing against people and their businesses, but I contend that such operations are best suited to commercial districts and/or the owners’ own lands or properties where they can park their vehicles for repairs and sale.
This situation does not affect me alone; the general well-being of residents has been significantly diminished and the aesthetic beauty of the community has been smeared. All letters and protests to the NDC to intervene and have this situation rectified have been futile.
I wrote to the Better Hope/LBI NDC that collects residents’ rates and taxes and is responsible for the upkeep of the area, calling for immediate action to fix this problem. They did nothing, which frustrated me to the point of threatening them with a lawsuit, but to no avail.
NDC officials told me that the people are stubborn and refuse to move. This raises some obvious questions. What about warning letters? What about taking them to court? What about asking the Ministry of Public Works for support just to create an example? What about asking the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown for assistance? What is stopping the NDC from enforcing the law and removing them forcibly?
What about seizing the vehicles, cutting them up on spot and taking them to the dumpsite or marketing them as scrap? It is incomprehensible that officials of the NDC cannot find a way to deal with persons who are breaking the law with impunity.
In my opinion, if NDC officials cannot cope with this problem, even with the support of affected residents and the full weight of the law on their side, then they are incompetent and, by extension, the NDC is inept and useless.
The voting patterns of persons who live in Better Hope/LBI are on public record. Maybe it is time for them to shift their votes away from any political entity that keeps dysfunctional NDC officials in office. It is foolish to keep useless administrators in office just because of politics. This applies to other NDC administrations where the people are not happy but blindly give their votes to a political entity.
Wake up and smell the coffee. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly, think and realise that blind loyalty to a political party is a serious mistake. Sometimes you have to turn against your own to teach them a lesson. Political entities too long in power seem to take things for granted and give poor service.
Based on the facts that I have drawn to the public’s attention in this letter, I strongly believe that the Better Hope/ LBI NDC is the most incompetent in Guyana. Go to Atlantic Gardens and see for yourself how several years of weak, clueless community management has spoilt what used to be a classy residential area.
Roshan Khan Sr