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Frustrated businessman sledgehammered parking meter ‘clamp’ from car

A man, who lashed off a boot/clamp from his car with a sledgehammer Tuesday evening, is worried about a square off between members of the Guyana Police Force and City Police.

“In light of the back-and-forth, I am worried that the Mayor and City Council, the police and the constables will have a shootout on the street. I am afraid of coming to Georgetown tomorrow (Wednesday),” Mr. Rodrigues told Demerara Waves Online News.

His concern follows a decision by Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan to immediately suspend the parking meter bylaw and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan asking the Guyana Police Force to prevent citizens and /or their vehicles “from being unduly hindered or restrained in any way, whatsoever, by the GCC (Georgetown City Council) and/or its agent.”

The businessman said he was not comforted by Cabinet’s latest decision on Tuesday, given the dismal track-record of City Hall and Central government over the last few months in addressing concerns about the parking meter contract.

Rodrigues, who owns a store on Regent Street, said his frustration about the mixed signals and lack of action to relieve citizens of the parking meter system, armed himself with a sledge hammer and lashed off a boot/clamp from his car that was parked outside the Regent Multiplex at Regent and Wellington Streets.

“I am on the edge of losing my mind. I owe my creditors, business is bad and I realise the government is incapable of helping the people and the Mayor and City Council has  in took it upon its own to oppress the people in support of Smart City Solutions and I have to take things into my own hands,” he said.

Asked why he did not challenge City Hall/ Smart City Solutions in light of the Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan’s order to suspend the parking meter bylaw, Rodrigues said he had no faith in the legal system because there are a number of parking meter court cases before the court. “I just got frustrated and was incapable of seeing any other way out,” he said.

The businessman said SCS representatives took up their clamp and he was about to be approached by a City Constable when he drove off..

He said he was not encouraging people to destroy the booting devices, but they should speak out against the perpetrators of injustice.

Just before breaking off the booting device from his car, he said “I am planning to take care of myself from now on and I hope every Guyanese who wants to be a free Guyanese take up the opportunity to take care of themselves because the government of this country and the ministers of this country have left people to the mercy of Smart City Solutions,” he said.

Two hours after Rodrigues removed the device, the Ministry of the Presidency issued a statement expressing disappointment at the Georgetown City Council’s actions on  Monday when it refused to heed Bulkan’s earlier order to suspend the parking meter bylaw.

Government wants the project suspended for 90 days to pave the way for the contract to be renegotiated with the aim of addressing the public’s concerns about the parking rates, lack of transparency and accountability.

The Movement Against Parking Meters, however, maintains that the contract must be revoked because there was no public tender, public consultation and socio-economic impact study. The Movement has been stressing that it is not opposed to parking meters but the manner in which it was introduced here was bad.

City Hall sees paid parking as a route to garner quick financing to fix roads, bridges and the drainage system as well as collect garbage.

The Ministry of Public Infrastructure last week outlawed the erection and operation of parking meters on several streets, including Water Street, that government says are not the City’s responsibility. M&CC and SCS representatives were up to Tuesday still working on Water Street.

  • Jiaram Ramdeen

    This is a startling situation. I expect ed war since the initial staging of Parking Meter system in Georgetown. Guyana is declared the poorest country in the Caribbean. We are not near ready for Parking Meter system.

    • GUYANA THE HELLHOLE !

      we r ready but d costs r 2 high in relation 2 salaries
      clamping and towing r done prematurely by this greedy company
      some people would have started smashing parking meters from 1 end of d street 2 the other end

  • Gtloyal

    Yesterday, some of us bloggers said that violence was close. Today we can see it getting closer.
    If Mr Granger doesn’t have the balls to reign in the mafiosi syndicate from City Hall or if he refuses to do so because it serves his interest also, people will get hurt and he and his team will have to answer … and I know for sure that they all will be sorry. This looks like it will precipitate the end of the whole baby party. Time to grow up.
    What we are witnessing here is how the uncontrollable greed and arrogance of an unintelligent few, coupled with a politically inept leadership that apparently believes that time erases all problems, are burying a political party long since dead, while giving the party that truly should have been dead, the break to rise from the ash like the mythological phoenix while sanity asks how can it rise, if it has not even burned.

  • Emile_Mervin

    The government has to fire Royston King. Pronto. King is a servant of the City Council, and based on the party last system of choosing councilors, mayor and town clerk, if the central government passes an order and its subordinate appointees don’t comply, they are replaced.

    I sense that King not only signed away the rights of Guyanese citizens and city space, he may personally be on the hook in this scam. This is what you get for playing Judas and selling out Guyanese.

    • rudeo

      the kong MUST GO!

    • eddie

      I am not going to ask because I know there are all saints running this country now dem dis that doing this shitty thing had to be tainted by the PPP what you say Professor you concur

  • brain dead idiot

    this is what they wanted today the city gone western style the whole council needs to be fired and replace

  • Lance Vance

    “In light of the back-and-forth, I am worried that the Mayor and City Council, the police and the constables will have a shootout on the street.THAT WILL B NICE BUT WITH APNU & AFU @ THE MIDDLE .

  • Lance Vance

    PPP SHOULD YOUR A$$

  • eddie

    hey the damm deal smell like it a PPP negotiated contract LOLLLLLLLLLL I thought they were out of power and we put in the saints and it get better with the Minister Of Health IT WAS NOT ME

    • Col123

      It is them ppp fault alright…All them left over PPP, and discarded Naggie and Jhaatie a only cause trouble fo dis government…they even infected Grangie with them nonsense… hate.. and spitefulness… Grangie should lock up the whole lot and tek away them big mansions…

      • eddie

        you mad bai,,, naggie use he siren to go to the bathroom he ant kay but de house is the power of the siren e want you think rob the earth gat shit on him he use the siren on cow,,Jhaatie on the other hand was placate by grangie he is now minister of rum shop and bar ,, gat to give grangie some props here

  • Col123

    It was some one else’s contracted private property which was encumbering his private property …

  • eddie

    nobody is pawns in this administration,,, this is one well oiled machine that work like an orchestra ,,,,, they had the balls to accuse the PPP of corruption which had some truth at least in appearance but is showing there true colors at who is better at this game and the poor Guyanese is the ones that take a flogging all the time