Adherence to building codes needs to be reinforced

Dear Editor,
The most recent and tragic fire that occurred in Kitty, Georgetown — which resulted in at least three homes being destroyed and two considerably damaged, and scores of persons homeless — brings to the fore again the dereliction on the part of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown.
Had the fire-fighters access to unpolluted open waterways, several of those homes would undoubtedly have been saved. Everyone knows that the water storage capacity of the fire tenders is limited, and that they are forced to use the water in trenches, canals and any other nearby source to supplement the water that they bring.
The search by the firefighters to locate an open waterway that was not clogged with copious aquatic growth, plastic and other garbage items proved futile. All of the surrounding drains were chockfull with weeds, refuse and other unmentionables. So the firefighters were forced to haul their hoses a considerable distance away, where they were able to eventually get a source of water. This is utterly shameful.
It leaves one to wonder where have gone all the hundreds of millions of dollars that were given by the Georgetown City Council to just one or two ‘special’ contractors to maintain the integrity of the city’s drainage system without tender procedures being adhered to. Has the money literally gone down the drain? And why were all the nearby fire hydrants non-functional?
City Hall should have a policy for new homes that are being built in the city: they should necessitate the installation of smoke alarms built along with sprinklers. They should also ensure that houses are not built too close together, which causes multiple homes to be lost when one catches afire.
Then again, the Engineers and building inspectors are otherwise engaged, and not ensuring the implementation and adherence to established building codes by persons doing construction and renovations. Every day you hear citizens complaining of their highhanded and disrespectful attitudes.

Anu Bihari