With the rainy season upon us, boat operators have ensured that their mode of transportation is secure and safe for passengers who ply the various routes. However; persons travelling from Georgetown to Essequibo using speedboats are now being faced with another problem.
Some pensioners told Kaieteur News that although they are allowed to travel with the “big boats” (ferry) free of cost; many times they have to utilise the speedboats to travel for matters concerning finance, health and other services, which cannot be postponed or delayed.
Joe Ramroop, an elderly gentleman from the Essequibo Coast, paid a visit to Kaieteur News to air his complaint about the danger being imposed on passengers by the dilapidated stellings that the speedboats use.
The Supenaam Stelling (Essequibo) has “secondhand” rails to support the elderly when they are exiting the speedboats and more often than not this is a nuisance to passengers and also the speedboat operators since they are anxious to load and off-load their boats.
Then there is also the stelling at Parika (Essequibo) in Region Three. Ramroop complained that this stelling as well has its faults, because it carries no proper stairs for passengers to walk on and does not have rails to support persons who are constantly travelling to and from the two destinations.
When Kaieteur News spoke to a few other persons who would travel along this route, it was told that this situation does not only affect the elderly, but also parents who travel with children and persons with a lot of luggage and bags.
One passenger stated that as he was expressing his opinion about being “hurried up and hassled” to get out of the boat, a speedboat operator told him “Go tell Sharma”.
The old man explained that he has a knee problem and without a proper walkway or board to use to exit the boat, he, like other older folks has to take their time and are usually harassed by the boat operators to “move faster”.
Some commuters complained that though the speedboats are sheltered to protect them during the rainy season, many times the water rises so high that the small walkway from the vessel to the staircase is flooded and often results in persons having to “hop from one boat to another” in order to reach the stairs.
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