The Ministry of Public Works has launched an aggressive campaign to remove all shops, bars and other encumbrances from along the East Bank of Demerara passageways to the main access road.
According to a notice publicized by the Ministry yesterday, the move is in keeping with its mandate to enforce Section 29 of the Road Act Cap. 51:01of the Laws of Guyana.
The campaign, which is expected to commence today, called on the general public particularly violators to remove all encumbrances before the work commences.
The Ministry noted that, “all encumbrances found on the government’s reserve during this campaign will be removed immediately with a recovery cost attached.”
Among the items identified by the Ministry as encumbrances along the main access road are derelict vehicles/equipment; immovable vehicles, hardware stores, barbershops, rum shops and bars; builders waste; roadside shop, car parks, sawmills, cargo containers, scrap iron dealer, clay stock pile/heap; sand/stone heap; structure; mobile vending cart; tyre servicing structures; mud-dumping workshop; non-derelict concrete mixing (road); none approved signboard and paddy drying.
The announcement by the Ministry comes months after Kaieteur News highlighted a similar issue involving a tyre shop located at Agricola, East Bank Demerara.
As a result, complaints from residents due to the congestion, the tyre shop issue had reached the level of the Public Works Ministry as well as the Mayor and City Council.
Residents complained that too often vehicles (including ‘bush’ trucks) were parked alongside the tyre shop, hindering the smooth commute of traffic and pedestrians, including students.
The public road provides for double-lane traffic, but vehicles are forced to form a single lane when approaching the tyre shop at Agricola, at the eastern carriageway. This problem is said to particularly acute on weekdays.
Georgetown Mayor and City Councillors representative of constituency 15 (Houston, Agricola, Mc Doom, and other East Bank Demerara communities) Cilesia Hall had told Kaieteur News that activities of the vulcanising outlet have led to major concerns particularly as it relates to the safety of children who commute the public road almost every day.
She explained that the residents have complained about the congestion and particularly the danger this poses for children who are forced to walk on the public road whenever vehicles and other objects from the shop block their way.
Hall said further that neighbours have complained that the tyres from the outlet encumber their free movement. She noted that a combined approach by the Ministry and the council would be needed to effectively address the problem.
Along the East Bank especially, there has been a springing up of roadside stands, selling greens, bread, coconuts and even trucks selling from barbecues to burgers to chicken and duck by the pound. There are also several dog food vendors along the way.
This is especially between Peter’s Hall to Grove and even in Diamond.
Yesterday, there were criticisms that the exercise should have happened after consultations with the stakeholders as it would affect families.
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