REMOVED: Sand truck operators removed from EBD Highway
…complain of abrupt removal
Sand truck operators who traverse the East Bank Demerara Highway have been hit with a seemingly abrupt decision to prohibit them from plying their trade along that corridor.
Life has just gotten harder for them, their already having complained of having to grapple with low prices for their commodity and reduced working hours owing to the restriction barring them from travelling on the roadways between 6:30am and 9:00am on weekdays.
The sand truck operators are especially upset over the inadequate notice given them in regard to this apparently sudden decision. When some truckers arrived at their usual area, right around the turn from the DSL Supermarket, they were greeted with “No parking for lorry” signs freshly painted on the sides of the road. When police ranks were painting the new sign on the road, some of the truckers were already there “conducting their hustle”.
Most sand truck operators complained that they had not been afforded prior notification of the decision to stop their trade at that location. They noted that they were not given enough time to remove or notify their customers of the change being implemented. The operators feel that they are being treated with little respect, and are annoyed that the Government keeps shuffling them around the place without finding a permanent place for their operation.
“This morning (Monday) they come and starting painting “No Parking”, and they telling we that we got to move; but they ain’t putting we nowhere where we can do we business,” one of the operators complained.
The operators have voiced their displeasure at not being made aware of where they are being relocated. According to a Guyana Times report, they claimed that it might be in some “side street”, in order to ease traffic congestion.
They were displeased at the thought of moving to a practically deserted street to ply their trade.
“When customers come to buy a load (of) sand, they does want see the truck. If they put we in a hole, we ain’t doing no business. So it got to deh on the public road. If they put we in a street, we nah gonna do no business,” another driver lamented.
The operators were also concerned about their safety when it comes to being moved to a lonely street. “It is putting our lives at risk, because people might be coming (to) rob (we) in a small street. If we in a street where people don’t pass, it is dangerous for we. We might get robbed (of) $2000; (and) some people might get killed for $5000,” one of the drivers reasoned.
The operators have said they are uncertain about where to go, because they were not properly briefed on the relocation. “All they tell we is that we got to move. We come this morning and they paint the road and tell we that we gah move,” they said.
The sand truck operators formerly plied their trade on Lombard Street, but were removed by authorities in 2014 to ease traffic. They were placed in front of a paint supplier on the East Bank Highway, but were subsequently removed to the opposite side of the road after the owner complained about dust particles getting into the paint. Now the operators are being removed once again, much to their annoyance and frustration.
Efforts to contact officials of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC), which has oversight over the area where the sand truck operators ply their trade, proved futile, so there is no clarity on the relocation of sand truck operators.