Legal delay in introduction of paid parking in Georgetown

Last Updated on Sunday, 22 January 2017, 17:00 by Denis Chabrol

Paid parking in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown has hit a slight snag because Minister responsible for Local Government, Ronald Bulkan has not yet approved parking meter by-laws, he said Sunday.

Bulkan said he got the by-laws on Friday, January 20, 2017 and expects that his Legal Department would review them on Monday- January 23- the same day that Smart City Solutions (SCS) is scheduled to start clocking motorists for parking their vehicles across the city.

The Minister said he does not expect the -company that is providing metered parking to charge motorists until the by-laws are approved.

“I think that it will be imprudent of them to go ahead but I can’t anticipate or pre-judge their actions but I think it is reasonable to assume that they will wait until they get the endorsement of the minister,” Bulkan told Demerara Waves Online News.

The Minister of Communities, who is responsible for Local Government, said once the Legal Department determines the status of the by-laws, he would respond to City Hall “immediately.”

However, spokesman for SCS, Kit Nascimento said paid parking would officially begin on Monday but the operators would be lenient with motorists to allow them to familiarize themselves with the system for one or two weeks.

“If you fail to pay or you exceed the period of payment for more than two hours you would normally be booted. There is likely to be a fairly tolerant approach to that at least for another couple of weeks,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.

Nascimento said he was unaware that the Minister of Local Government had not yet signed off on the by-laws.

The Municipalities and District Councils Act says the Council is allowed to make by-laws which the minister may reject or approve with or without amendment. The law further states that no by-law shall have the force f law until it has been approved by the minister.

“I am not too sure that the council would want to go ahead in the absence of that,”  he said, adding that the Council should be wary of a possible legal challenge.

The Georgetown Municipality has introduced metered parking with the aim of garnering much needed revenue to help finance millions of dollars in sustained cleansing and infrastructural work without relying on subventions from Central Government.