A team of businessmen from the Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce, led by their President Mohindra Persaud yesterday morning visited two locations in Springlands to assess what has been taking place since the Canawaima Ferry Service has been halted.
The visit, Persaud said, was aimed at arriving at a solution for a better service after they received several complaints from travellers over the past two weeks.
“Now that the ferry service is down for the time being, we thought it best with all the complaints of people having to stamp at the immigration office then take a car and come to these exits… it’s a little time consuming”, the Chamber President said.
According to Persaud, who is also the CEO of Nand Persaud and Company, if there was a ferry service at the Moleson Creek Ferry Stelling with all the necessary services and systems in one place, then there is no need to have all the services at different locations.
“My thing is that if we have a ferry service in the Moleson area which has all the networking, then you can take these boats from these points of entry and exit and move it to the Moleson area whether the Canawaima Ferry is working or not”, he opined.
Persaud said with such an intervention, it will ultimately be more cost effective and manageable “because you can use the resources that are already there at Moleson Stelling rather than having it stagnant there”.
The Moleson Creek Ferry Stelling route is currently out of operation since the Canawaima Ferry developed mechanical issues and shut down a few months ago. That service was the major link for Guyanese leaving for Suriname and Surinamese coming over to Guyana. It allowed for trade between the two countries to flourish while at the same time assisted in tourism.
The businessman and Commerce President underscored that there are currently three active routes, with one being used for trade (heavy cargo) at Line Path. The Golden Gloves Boating Service and Reno’s Boating Service are the other two.
The proprietors stated that they have seen an increase in travellers and business at their respective locations and while they have welcomed that development, they are also in support of having operations being done again at Moleson Creek, by having some of their boats working from that route as well.
Persaud reasoned, “think about it, we have practically four exits which includes the Linepath exit which facilitates heavy cargo. Having all the operations in one area then there is 100% control of all the people coming and going, the services and the goods.”
He added that the boat operators have agreed and stated that it would be a good move, since the two wharves would be at a shorter distance and also safer.
There were complaints that boats were overloaded with passengers, a development that is a cause for concern, Persaud noted.
The Chamber at the conclusion of the visit, told reporters that based on their assessment of what was taking place, the recommendations were made, and as such, they will be moving to have the government involved to listen to their suggestions and if possible, implement.
“Today’s visit, we have accomplished a lot, because I want to take our recommendations to the government. We want to be knowledgeable on what really is taking place and by being on the spot and hearing from passengers, it provides that medium,” Persaud said.
Hundreds of travellers have been using the once illegal backtrack routes since the ferry service came to a halt, and while some have said the process of stamping their passports at the Republic Square, Springlands Immigration office is smooth, many have complained that the process is time consuming.
Passengers are still hopeful that the ferry service will become a reality once again.
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