… Says it will impose an additional financial and economic burden on the populace
Opposition against the parking meter project continues to mount even as preparations are underway to roll out the initiative.
An estimated 400 parking meters are expected to be installed along selected streets in the central business district of the capital city of Georgetown.
Concerns abound over the criteria used for the selection of the streets which will be equipped with parking meters, since it registers as a discriminatory move as some patrons will be mandated to pay for parking while others will not.
The controversial parking meter contract, after being exposed in the media as being shrouded in secrecy and smelling of corruption, was reviewed by the executive for any illegalities.
Among the concerns raised about the contract are the division of profits, the exorbitant amount being charged for parking, the development, as well as the terms of the agreement, and the credibility of the company undertaking the initiative.
The parliamentary Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) had strongly criticised the imposition of this extra financial expense on the public, especially in light of the fact that there were absolutely no consultations on the matter beforehand.
Despite the flaws highlighted in the contract, Government discovered nothing illegal and gave the green light for the commencement of the project once certain recommendations were implemented. This included a reduced fee for parking, which was eventually changed in the contract.
In his most recent commentary, PPP/C Member of Parliament (MP) Anil Nandlall re-emphasised that the Opposition completely rejected the installment of parking meters around Georgetown on the basis of the current economic state.
“The PPP party has spoken on this matter. We are of the view that we do not need and do not want parking meters in Guyana. It will impose an additional financial and economic burden on the people of this country. The economy cannot sustain parking meters at this point in time,” he posited.
He argued that the Government’s over concentration on taxing people was the wrong focus since it would only hurt the economy.
“Whilst they continue to pile taxes on our people, the production sectors are declining, our people are earning less, their disposable income reducing, no new jobs created, no new investment, every day people are losing jobs,” he said, referring to the dismissal of employees at Barama and GuySuCo.
“We have survived without parking meters for 50 years and we can go another few years without parking meters,” Nandlall expressed.
Further, the PPP/C intends to address the matter in the upcoming sitting of the National Assembly.
According to the parliamentary agenda, PPP/C MP Irfaan Ali will be moving the motion to debate the parking meter project on the grounds that there were no public consultations, stakeholders have pleaded with the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) to revise the initiative, and the contract may have violated tender procedures.
The motion will also address the fact that some Councillors have objected to the project’s implementation and the question of whether the legal hurdles and protocols have been addressed, such as the M&CC having authority over public roads, such as Regent Street, Water Street and Avenue of the Republic.
The PPP/C in its motion will be calling on the Auditor General of Guyana, Deodat Sharma to conduct a forensic audit into the Georgetown Municipal Council, including the parking meter contract. (Article: Guyana Times)