Residents of Charity Housing Scheme on the Essequibo Coast have once again voiced their concerns on the deplorable state of the Scheme Road. They are pleading with the RDC and other relevant authorities to urgently address the matter. According to some residents, the roads had begun eroding for some three years.
“The Government may be reluctant in addressing issues at their diminutive stage; instead they wait to address the situation until it would’ve matured into a major disaster,” one resident opined.
“These roads are in a really messy state. People are scared to bring their vehicles through these streets. Our suppliers often complain that their stocked vehicles are always vulnerable to damage due to the huge craters in the streets,” a businessman stated.
The Charity/Urasara Neighborhood Democratic Council (NDC) said that correspondence was sent to the authorities since last year to have the matter rectified. “The only indication from engineers is that they are trying to get loam to fix the road. We still need the potholes to be fixed.”
Regional Chairman Daveanand Ramdatt claimed that the streets reached a deplorable stage due to the mismanagement of building materials by the Regional Executive Officer (REO) Rupert Hopkinson. According to Ramdatt, “the REO diverted materials such as loam, sand and stones into two separate parks out of his own interest.” He also believes that the investment was pointless, since the parks are hardly operational and make no economical contribution towards the Region.
In his defence, Hopkinson denied all allegations against him, saying that there is no evidence to support the Chairman’s claims. “One of the parks was contracted to Mr. Ramzan Alli at 20 million Guyana dollars, and its building resources were already included in the budget.”
Hopkinson added that “some aspects of the parks were built out of savings apart from budgeted money. The REO said that he “cannot utilize resources that are unavailable. Resources can only be taken out when extra resources are available. I have vouchers to prove that one of these contracts was awarded, apart from savings. I can also prove that the other was contracted by the Ministry of Communities.”
The NDC believes, however, that local residents may have contributed to the roads’ deplorable state.
“Holes surface because residents bring trucks into the scheme. People contribute by driving heavy-duty trucks through the streets. Because of the soil type, we need a toll gate.
We need to bar and limit the number of trucks coming in and out these streets with sand, stone and loam.” Years ago, requests were made to have toll gates in the streets, and we were given lock and key to control the entry of heavy-duty vehicles.”
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