Chairman of Giftland Mall, Roy Beepat is raising concerns over Government’s move to occasionally close sections of the East Coast Demerara (ECD) road to facilitate functions being held at the Arthur Chung Convention Center for special dignitaries which he said is causing his business significant losses.
According to Beepat in a missive, 85% of business was lost on Monday and Tuesday when the roads leading to his establishment were closed.
He said that Government reportedly closed the roads leading to the Mall from dawn to dusk, only allowing cars that stated that they are going to the Mall.
He noted however that “only allowing cars that state that they are going to the Mall, doesn’t come close to alleviating the number of persons that simply do not worry due to the inconvenience caused by the diversions.”
Moreover, he noted that minibus drivers were unable to access the Mall which he said reduced 50% of Giftland’s traffic, while the road closure another 35%.
According to Beepat, who noted that he invested billions of dollars and employs directly over 1000 Guyanese in the 90 concessions of the Giftland Mall, “it is shameful that this investment comes to a grinding halt when there is any visit to the Arthur Chung Center by special dignitaries and the arbitrary decision to close the roads leading to the Mall from dawn to dusk” Beepat wrote.
According to the Chairman, “Today the entire Mall is like a ghost town, business is not good and every day is a fight for survival.”
Beepat is urging Government and the Police to be cognizant of the struggles being faced as a result of the loss of business.
“I am sure with more thought a solution can be found, a simple closing and opening of the roadways to allow arrival and departure of the dignitaries may be an option, some awareness of the implications of these actions when planning to close roads would be appreciated” the Chairman suggested.
Further, he noted that “This practice of closing down private business for Government functions is unique to Guyana, and the authorities’ need to see what works worldwide where this is not done”.