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City Clean-up appears farcical

Bags of silt at the corner of Regent and Wellington Streets, a stone’s throw away from the Georgetown City Hall. The silt was removed from the drain Sunday morning and was up to Tuesday morning still not collected by garbage disposal trucks.

The City’s rehabilitation exercise being spearheaded by the Georgetown Municipality appears to be turning out to be a huge farce because action is being taken against selected vendors and silt removed from Regent Street drains has been left on the parapet to be washed back in the drainage system.

Despite assurances by City Mayor Hamilton Green, mounds and open bags of silt were Tuesday still lying on the Regent Street parapet. Sections of the drains that were purportedly de-silted by council workers and volunteers on Sunday still appeared clogged.

Across at Bourda (Piggott) Street, only a selected number of vendors were removed to facilitate the demolition of the dilapidated old Bedford Methodist School and facilitate entry and exit by Alabama Trading, the new property owner. Authorities recalled that those vendors had been given notices of removal about two years ago and they have bluntly refused to vacate the area.

mega mall alleyGreen said the City Council has decided that no one would be spared from the efforts to clean up and beautify Georgetown, but he could give no clear time-line when the ramshackle stalls just outside the eastern side of the Bourda Constabulary would be removed.

The explanation given was that those stalls, unlike those outside the old school building, are not over the drain.  The reality is that although those stalls alongside the Outpost are not over the drain, that section of the drain has not been cleaned for a very long time.

Town Clerk, Royston King vowed that encroachments on Council’s reserves such as gates and the covering over of sections of alleyways would be demolished in the coming weeks. “You see we are dealing with the vendors. We are also dealing with the big business people who have appropriated our parapets and reserves without permission,” he said.

One of the businesses identified is the Mega Mall on Regent and Camp Streets, Georgetown. However, senior officials of that enterprise told reporters that they had received permission to extend their property over the alleyway during the construction of that store. The officials said they have received no notice to remove the extension and that permission had been obtained from the Municipality to cover that section of the alleyway.

Several of the vendors, whose stalls were torn down during the pre-dawn hours of Monday, expressed disappointment that the government they voted for at the May 11, 2015 general elections were spearheading the exercise.

Reacting, the Town Clerk said, “A vote for any government is not a reason or an excuse for attitudes or indiscipline and incidents of lawlessness. It doesn’t matter if you vote for a government, you still have to abide by the laws and by the rules,” he said.

King vowed that “regardless of degrees of difficulties,” the City Council would continue to carry out President David Granger’s mandate that Georgetown must become the greenest city in the Caribbean.