Kaieteur News – GTT and Traffic Awareness Week 20 years ago
Twenty years ago, it was 2001. I think before 2001 I had chastised GTT for not producing a correct telephone directory. Now please believe what you are about to read because it is true. Here it is, since 20 years ago, GTT has not produced for any year a competent telephone directory. Over that 20-year period, I have done this chastisement three times in my columns, one of which highlighted the fact that UG was left out.
The present directory was issued this year and some of its omissions are completely unacceptable. The Ministry of Public Infrastructure or Ministry of Public Works is missing. But there are some ugly dimensions to this omission. Here are two. The content page has Transport and Harbours Department (TH&D) on page 54. That is erroneous.
Alphabetically in the section on government ministries, TH&D is on page 56. But there is no listing for TH&D. It advises the reader that TH&D is under the Ministry of Public Infrastructure on page 47. But on page 47 there is no listing for such a ministry.
This is morbid and evil incompetence in the age of digital technology. It is simple to understand this 20-year-old monstrosity if you know how to use a database. If UG produces a list of chemistry students each year, then if John Jones is in the data base, his name will automatically come up for each year. The names that will be missing are new students that have not been entered into the database.
If the City Council publishes a list of home owners each year, Anil Singh’s name will come up because he is in the database. The omission of other property owners is likely to happen because they are new and have not been inputted. If in previous years you listed UG, then UG is in GTT’s database, then how was it left out.
So GTT has been doing this for 20 years now and GTT gets away with it because GTT knows that it is operating in a country that has long broken down and that the more things change, the more they remain the same. GTT has not gotten its directory right for even one year and GTT will continue in this vein because who cares about anything in Guyana.
My two landlines aren’t working properly as I wrote in my column of Sunday, October 17, 2021 titled, “Service and the state: Theorising about post-colonial Guyana.” I am going to leave the lines in disuse because I know GTT will not come to service it so there is no point reporting it. This is Guyana and I know Guyana.
So, 20 years ago I wrote about GTT. Also, 20 years ago I almost hit a cyclist on Sugrim Singh Road who came west out of Station Street. There were no street lights, and he was wearing dark clothes. Now read on for what happened to me on Tuesday, the very day the police force had a Road Safety Week (RSW) campaign.
The campaign was on the Railway Embankment outside my home. My wife, daughter and I were looking at the dozens of motorcycles that were seized and placed into a large open back truck. RSW has been going on long before GTT came to these shores. But it has an inherent flaw.
RSW has to have a holistic canopy. It is useless to have RSW if you are taking away motorcycles for lack of proper documents. RSW must be all-encompassing. Streets must have lights for road users to see. The parapets must not be encumbered so road users can use it for safety for oncoming traffic.
On the night of the very day of RSW (Tuesday), while I was coming home with my dog, I was travelling east on Woolford Avenue. At the junction of Sugrim Singh Road and Woolford Avenue, I barely saw a man on his cycle. There were no street lights, he wore dark clothes, his cycle had no reflectors, and the place was an area of darkness. This was déjà vu. The same thing happened 20 years ago.
People are endangering road safety by putting huge boulders on the parapet where they live so you cannot manoeuvre out of the way of oncoming traffic. There is a house on Peter Rose in which the owner landscaped the entire parapet and put an entire garden down on the parapet. You have to drive into the garden to avoid oncoming traffic. You can harm yourself doing so. RSW is not about seizing motorcycles only. It should be more than that. Teach Guyanese how to dim in the night when drivers indicate that your high beam is blinding. What is my point? After 20 years things are still the same. Guyana doesn’t change.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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