Jun 03, 2011 Letters
I wish to respond to a letter written by one Roxanne De Cruiz, titled, “Is Ramotar pressing the restart button on the Jagdeo’s presidency?” published on Thursday June 2nd in the Kaieteur News.
Since the writer addressed the promises made by the PPP’s 2011 presidential candidate Donald Ramotar during his presentation at the GMSA organised luncheon I would like to do the same with respect to the promises made by the AFC, a party which De Cruiz is a ‘proud’ supporter of.
A) Via “AFC Newswire – 8 February 2010”, under the subtitle “Immediate Infrastructure Needs” the AFC promised to build:
A totally new and proper four-lane highway from Georgetown to the existing Soesdyke/Linden Highway. This must be a first-rate road with extra turning-off lanes. The recent East Bank four-lane highway is really not four lanes as the left lane is used by vehicles to exit and make stops. The rationale for this new highway to the capital city is to engender a sense of success and pride for tourists, returning Guyanese, and business executives who travel to the city to make deals.
These are questions the AFC should answer with respect to this proposal:
1. What is the estimated cost for this proposal?
2. Where is the proposed location for this new four-lane highway?
3. What is the status on land acquisition, expropriation, etc., to secure the needed route for current and future expansions?
4. How many families would be displaced to accommodate the new route?
5. What is the status of the necessary exploration works to determine suitability for the proposed route.
6. What is the proposed and completion dates for this proposal.
B) Via its Economic Plan the AFC promised to build a deep water harbour in the Essequibo River. This is despite the fact that a one week study conducted by the Indian Government some time back concluded that the Berbice River area is most suitable for the construction of such infrastructure since the water in that area has the necessary depth and the area is not congested. So this begs the question; are there engineers in the AFC who are better equipped than those whose services were utilized by the Indian Government in order for that party to make such a determination?
C) In the same letter De Cruiz also wrote:
“Newspapers reports: “Ramotar said that he will create the SWAT team to deal with criminals though he stressed “not a team like those of the past. Again, like Jagdeo, Ramotar is not talking of accepting England’s offer to train personnel while upgrading and truly professionalise the security and crime fighting systems in Guyana.”
However, De Cruiz did not point to a single instance
where British reform of ‘the crime fighting system’ has worked in an effort to bolster her inferences that it is the “remedy” to our crime situation. Both Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago’s attempt at similar exercises did nothing to alter the crime situation in those two Islands. Uriah King writing in the Jamaica Observer described British, former Deputy Police Commissioner Mark Shields’ tenure as follows:
He came from Scotland Yard some five years ago with a huge reputation and commanded a handsome salary in pounds sterling, but what did Jamaica get for its coin? His mandate was to spearhead a new approach to crime-fighting, one that would yield results, but under his watch both the murder and crime rate increased year on year. During his time at the JCF, he had no answers and contributed very little. On about £80,000 a year plus expenses, what did the country get for its money apart from a few empty Red Stripe bottles?
I end this letter by restating that it is often easy for one to pontificate on their grand plans to change the world but always difficult for them to actually do it, once given an opportunity. The AFC’s many lofty plans and ideas are nice sounding but are really shallow and impractical at best.
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