I wish to appeal to the newly elected City Council of Georgetown to take urgent action on behalf of the physically challenged population of our capital, to reverse the callous and corrupt actions of the City Engineer’s Department.
The first thing that needs to be addressed would be the standardisation of the pavements or sidewalks in the city, particularly those on Regent, Robb, Charlotte, Camp, Wellington, King, Main/High Streets.
These pavements have become like obstacle/challenge courses. Some are five inches, some are ten inches and some are 15 inches above the original levels. So walking along is an enormous challenge even to those that are fully capable physically, much more to those with infirmity.
This has only become possible due incompetence and fraudulence by the City Engineer’s Department, who have turned a blind eye when these pavements are being constructed.
It is incumbent upon them to establish a benchmark which they should hold all property owners to standardisation. So if the benchmark is 12 inches above the old level, then every business and property owner should be held to that, not below, not above, and all deviants should have their pavements dismantled.
Only in two such instances such action occurred recently, whilst all the rest are allowed to prevail with persons frequently falling and injuring themselves.
Secondly, laws in many cities ensure people with mobility disabilities are able to access goods, services, programmes, and housing. Not so in Georgetown.
The premise behind these laws is that people with disabilities should be able to participate in community life just like everyone else.
Why does the City Engineer not require property owners and operators particularly those constructing new commercial buildings to provide ramps in such situations?
The main purpose of building codes are to protect public health, safety and general welfare as they relate to the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures and should also ensure the inclusion of special construction objects such as canopies, signs, pedestrian walkways, and parking lots.
Why are they approving the construction of five and six storied buildings in the commercial sections of the city without adequate
Parking—and in some instances without parking at all?
This means that physically challenged persons have to cover considerable distances between where they are parked and where they have to do their business. Such a shame!
The City Engineer’s Department needs to be revamped from top to bottom with the current money-grubbing mercenaries removed and replaced by hard-working, honest and competent persons.
As they say ‘Money is the root of all evil’.