Home Letters Hopeless state of administration of Georgetown municipality
It just takes a casual glance at Georgetown’s iconic landmark; the Stabroek Market in its current sorry state, to realise that it mirrors completely the hopeless state of the administration of the Georgetown municipality.
At the highest point of this historic structure is a weather vane, wind vane, or weathercock – which ever you want to call it – and which was put there to show citizens the direction and speed of the wind. This does not work.
Looking up at the legendary clock so strategically placed in our nation’s capital, and built somewhere between 1880 and 1881, one can see each dial telling a different time, which of course is because the clock is defective and has been so for decades, due to the Council failing to maintain it. More egregious is that more than two years ago, the Council begged a foreign mission and obtained full funding to have the clocks rehabilitated and returned to working order.
Regrettably, having received this money, they have failed to fix the clock giving the flimsy excuse that the tower housing the clock needs to be repaired first before the clock could be rehabilitated. Did they not know this before obtaining funds to repair the clock? And why with the passage of more than two years, this modest tower but historical masterpiece could not be repaired? To add insult to injury, they have haphazardly hung a string of lights to further deface the structure and highlight at night, the fact that the clocks are not working. The City Council should be ashamed of itself.
Going around to the back of Stabroek Market, one is confronted with the broken-down wharf that collapsed several years ago, and for which the Council has failed to even attempt repairs. Instead they have had a grand plan drawn up for a fancy edifice to be put up, using the Central Government’s sources of funding which really means the VAT and other taxes you and I have to pay to the State. Could the Council say what it is doing with all of the stall rents, vendors’ fees and other municipal taxes that they collect that should be used to maintain municipal markets? I hope it is not wasted on foreign trips.
Then there is the act of cultural barbarism, impropriety and venality where the Council’s administration has allowed a vendor to build a two-storied structure that adjoins the North-eastern side of the Stabroek Market structure. This ugly projection which incidentally does not have the approval of the Council, nor the National Trust, blemishes significantly this heritage structure and severely hampers the natural airflow of the market. Why does the Communities Ministry, the Council, the National Trust of Guyana or the Guyana Historical and Research Society not awaken from their slumber, and correct this savagery?
Venturing inside this dark, dank, rat infested municipal market more often than not, one is either molested by some urchins who will attempt to sell you stolen items, or alternately try to choke and rob you right under the noses of some unconcerned City Constables.
But that aside, one is confronted with a most cluttered, untidy and chaotic market that now houses more than a thousand business persons. Long ago stalls were arranged in neat rows with wide passages that allowed the fire tender to drive all the way from the front to the back of the market in the event of a conflagration. Today not even the fire hose could be stretched from the front to the back of the market.
How could we the citizens expect our City Council to manage our capital city when they cannot even manage a simple municipal market. How could we expect Georgetown to advance with such corrupt, incompetent and desperate persons at the helm?