Illegal shops leave Stewartville residents with little peace

The illegal structure at Sea View, Stewartville, West Coast Demerara, that the residents say plays loud music during the nights.

Residents of Sea View, Stewartville, West Coast Demerara, have complained of illegal structures in their community that house shops which play loud music at nights and disturb the peace of the area.

They are calling on the authorities to address the issue. In a letter published in the January 16 edition of Stabroek News, a resident wrote that they wanted to draw the attention of the relevant authorities to the growing problem of illegal shops and noise pollution in the community.

The letter explained that a few residents have been trying to keep the environment cleaned of debris and bushes, not only for general hygiene purposes but also to beautify the community. However, they were disappointed to know that after the area was cleaned, illegal structures were erected on the roadside of the scheme, and one of shops would usually be “blasting” music all day, into the late nights.

Another of the illegal structures along the roadway.

“This is disrespectful of the elderly persons and others who desire a peaceful sleep particularly at nights. It has recently come to my attention that one of these illegal shops with loud music is owned by a law enforcement officer. Why the loud music every night? On one occasion, I was forced to call the Police Station with regards to the playing of loud continuous music,” the resident said.

The writer added that in addition to the continuous noise pollution, they are also concerned about suspected illegal activities which make it unsafe at nights for residents of the community.

“Please note, letters were sent to the overseer at the Stewartville Neighbourhood Democratic Council Office and the Regional Office Region #3 with regards to the illegal structures in front of the Scheme, to this date nothing has been done to remedy the situation,” the resident wrote. The letter added that the residents would appreciate if the relevant authority can spare time to deal with “this blatant lawlessness as soon as possible.”

When Stabroek News visited the community on Wednesday, two makeshift structures that are being used as shops were observed about 40 feet apart from each other, running parallel to the public road, in front of the small bridges that are used to access the community. Between them, a makeshift tent and a table was also set up and was being utilised by another person to sell clothes and related items.

One of the residents, who did not want to be identified out of fear of victimisation, voiced sentiments similar to those contained in the letter. The resident emphasised that despite multiple complaints to the authorities, including the police, nothing has been done to date.

Persons who were around at the time and who are said to be relatives of the persons who are operating out of the illegal structures, erupted as the woman was explaining the situation.

They claimed that they had been using the area for years without being interrupted and will not be moved.

Meantime, the resident further explained that the constant loud music would prevent her and her family from getting a good night’s rest and sometimes, when they are trying to access the scheme during the nights, they have to be vigilant since the shop would usually draw a crowd of persons from the surrounding environs.  

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