The Working People’s Alliance held a symposium on the prorogation of Parliament at the National Library last Thursday afternoon. Afterwards, Christopher Ram, Dr. David Hinds and I went to get a snack at the Banks DIH outlet at Main and Quamina Streets, also named Arapaima; about two minutes walk from the National Library.
We will come to what Christopher Ram saw and what got him angry. Before the symposium was over, Keith Scott of APNU had to leave so I accompanied him to his vehicle, parked outside the Ministry of Sports and Culture. As we approached Keith’s car, I heard a strange sound coming from the Ministry, and I moved closer to investigate.
A ruptured pipe was spilling water into the air like a fountain and had flooded the southern bridge of the Ministry. Surely, Ministry officials had to see this including the Minister because it was virtually a couple of yards away from where his driver would put him off in the compound when he reports for work.
Keith and I went to see senior officials of the Ministry to inform them. Keith went to his car, and I walked back to the National Library. Two persons came up and informed me that the spill was going on since Wednesday and that the Minister, Frank Anthony and his Parliamentary Secretary (not Permanent Secretary), Steve Ninvalle, were aware of it. Precious water is being wasted and there is no guarantee that the Ministry would inform GWI the next day.
If a Minister and his Deputy could ignore such a calamity, why should we expect John Public to act differently?
Back to Christopher Ram. While having our snack, Chris went to the washroom. He came back with anger on his face. He told us that the faucet wasn’t working, meaning that there was no water running through the taps. I made some critical comments about the decline in the service Banks DIH offers, and Chris said; “Write about this one.” Well here it is, I am writing about it.
I have lost my respect for Banks DIH. A few weeks ago, I penned two columns on this company’s poor service. One had to do with the fading ink that they use to stamp the flavour of the ice cream on the container. And they put the name of the flavour on the lid of the cover not the face of the cover.
In its frozen state, you cannot tell what the flavour of the ice cream is because it was rubbed off by the water. Banks DIH only gives you a large plastic bag if you buy two loaves of bread which cost $560. It doesn’t matter how much the pastries cost once it is not bread they will not give you a plastic bag.
Thousands, not hundreds but thousands of patrons use the Brickdam located service of DEMICO named IDIHO on a daily basis. It has one male and one female washroom. Michael Carrington and Leonard Craig have lamented this deplorability more times than I can count. As recent as two weeks ago both of them suggested that I write about it. Well here I am, writing about it.
If Chris Ram thinks the washroom facilities at Arapaima is bad, he should go to the International Convention Centre. I was there on Wednesday at the confabulation on civil society. I had to use the washroom. It is sad what that brand new structure has become. The washrooms are deteriorating badly. The building itself is deteriorating.
I am convinced that there is no maintenance work taking place at the Centre. Tiles are broken, walls are dirty, the steps are in an unkempt state and the total ambience reeks of abandonment. But the decline is easy to understand. The Convention Centre is now used for weddings, engagements, birthdays and funeral services.
I live next door to the Centre. From my study window, I can see the bacchanalian revelries that take place there constantly. This obviously explains the decrepit state of the building. If you have no maintenance programme and drunk people destroy the washrooms, then commonsense will tell you that the building will crumble.
Everywhere in this country you see the state of primitiveness. I am typing this column on Friday morning and since Thursday evening we have had continuous blackouts. I went to see Shakespeare at the National Cultural Centre a few weeks ago and the chair in which I was sitting, the leatherette was torn, there was a big hole and a metal object was piercing my backside. I wonder how Mr. Jagdeo would have felt in that situation knowing he was the President in charge of Guyana.
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