The clamping of vehicles, and fining of motorists under the parking meter project will be suspended pending post-implementation consultations, according to Cabinet Secretary and State Minister Joseph Harmon today.
Harmon said City Council, following a meeting between the Georgetown Mayor and Town Clerk, and President Granger, had decided to suspend punitive aspects of the parking meter project. This means a suspension on the clamping of vehicles, and fining of motorists.
The State Minister could not give a definitive date when the suspension will take effect, saying instead, that notice would come from City Hall.
Harmon said it is not within the interest of the government to intervene in the business of City Council, but the President felt it necessary to call a meeting with city officials considering the strategic importance of the capital city.
“City Council was asked to have a fresh look as to the implementation of the parking meter system to ensure they have wider consultations with stakeholders, and, in the process of doing some, examine some of the recommendations now being made and ensure those recommendations are taken on board,” Harmon told the press corps today at the weekly post-cabinet press briefing.
Protests against the parking meter project continues to grow as the Movement Against Parking Meters organised a massive demonstration on Thursday, February 9. This was the second such action by the civil society group.
That protest was also attended by a number of well-known Guyanese including former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran, former Georgetown Town Clerk, Carol Sooba, and outgoing Georgetown Deputy Mayor Sherod Duncan.
Some are opposed to the project altogether, while others believe its implementation come at a poor time considering Guyana’s socioeconomic status. Another group believes the project should have been subject to a more fair and above board procurement process.
The New Building Society has hauled the city administration before the Courts, challenging the legality of the parking meter project.
NBS’s Chief Executive Officer, Anil Kishun, said, in an affidavit in support of motion, that the parking meters has badly affected his financial institution’s customers and employees.
“It has caused us great loss and hardship. The approval of the Bylaws has put into operation a parking meter system which restrains and prevents our employees and customers from gaining access to our establishment without incurring large fees which is in some cases prohibitive or being guilty of a criminal offence which attracts a prison term upon summary conviction,” he said.
In court papers seen by Demerara Waves Online News, Justice Brassington Reynolds has ordered Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan to show cause why his approval of the bylaws should not be quashed.