Those CWC-induced improvements
November 27, 2006
And so, at long last, a meaningful facelift for our capital city is looming on the horizon.
What we have been waiting for is about to become a reality, and thanks to next year’s Cricket World Cup coming to Georgetown.
The recent announcement by Deputy Mayor Robert Williams that a “Toolsie Persaud Mall”will be demolished and replaced with a “massive one-storey, steel structure” is a positive development.
And this is just the latest in a number of initiatives to pretty-up the city for next year’s top sporting event.
We know that the new structure will add a welcome dimension to Water Street.
Where the so-called Toolsie Persaud Mall is now was once a dynamic section of Water Street.
It was occupied by reputable entrepreneurs, including Bookers.
After the fire which destroyed a considerable section of Water Street, the area became a storage ground for unserviceable vehicles.
Government’s legal acquisition of the area and giving it to the City Council for vendors was a magnificent gesture.
Unfortunately, this was realized in a nightmarish manner.
In its rush to re-locate vendors from pavements on Regent Street and other areas, and also to earn revenue, the City Council crammed an estimated 400 stalls at the site.
Conditions became so unbearable that at the moment only some 50 vendors sell their wares there.
It is estimated that the new mall will accommodate 100 stalls, and so the Council will still be faced with the problem of where to put the vendors.
And there is, too, the encumberances caused by derelict vehicles on City Council reserves, as well as great piles of garbage just about everywhere.
The formidable task of removing all these begins today.
There is also another welcome announcement, another Cricket World Cup-induced improvement.
We have been told that the area just in front of the Stabroek Market is to be transformed.
This is an area that was once unclustered, and shoppers felt comfortable going into and leaving the market.
Not so today. The approaches to the market literally crawl with vendors selling just about anything, and persons wanting to do business in the market move through all this nervously, eager to get out of the chaos, get into the market, and out again, once again running the gauntlet amidst the shuffling, noisy humanity plying their trade on the pavement and spilling into the roadway.
These vendors must be re-located.
The Stabroek Market is a heritage monument. It needs to be treated as such.
And finally,as if it did not have enough on its plate, there is the Guyana Power and Light’s decision to cut off its power from various City Council installations for non-payment of millions in arrears to the power company.
There has to be an answer to this latest municipal dilemma.
Imagine the further chaos if the cutting off leads to street lights in the city.