Visionary leadership

Dear Editor,
President Dr Irfaan Ali, the Government of Guyana and the Minister of Public Works must come in for high praise for the transformational road projects that they are undertaking.
The new roadways along the East Bank of Demerara; the one from Parika to the planned new Harbour Bridge across the Demerara River, which will connect the West Bank to the East Bank; and the East Coast Road that would connect with the East Bank are all so necessary.
It is visionary leadership. Their vision to build new roads will open up vast areas of the country for housing development away from the main public road and the coast. It will also allow for farming and other aspects of development.
However, there is a serious problem developing in all of this development, one that has to be addressed now, or else it will get further out of hand. That problem is that a number of unscrupulous individuals have decided to indiscriminately occupy the verges of these new highways, creating a nightmare for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
These persons, many of whom own trucks, park them on the shoulders of the roads, entirely blocking the paths of pedestrians and cyclists; and some have even decided to erect tents along with their trucks and vend all day, from fruits to vegetables, whilst others operate as butcheries, selling every type of meat, even slaughtering chickens right there. Others sell dog food.
Not only are they encumbering the roadways and creating traffic hazards, but their bases of operation are also very unsightly. Some even set up roadside mechanic shops, with large trucks being repaired right there at the sides of the highways.
At Providence, East Bank Demerara there is a nice little tourism hub being developed in the area known as ‘Red Road’, with a hotel, casino and movie theatre now being joined by a spanking new mall, gym and supermarket. Alas! There is now a most hideous row of more than 20 shacks that have appeared along the roadway, giving the entire area a slum appearance.
This is most unfortunate, and needs to be corrected immediately, not just for aesthetics, but for safety of persons visiting the area, particularly at night. We have to decide if we are serious about developing Guyana as a tourism destination

Anu Bihari