By Shemuel Fanfair
As the days countdown to the March 18 Local Government Elections (LGE) polls, candidates are outlining proposals for development in the various constituencies. Businessman Bishram Kuppen said his main agenda is to “develop and revitalise Georgetown.”
Under the objectives of integrity, creativity, vision, hard work and professionalism, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) candidate promises to ensure there is modernisation of the capital city, especially in Constituency 7 Bourda-Stabroek-Central Lacytown.
“My constituency consists of the Stabroek Market, Bourda Market, the Parliament Buildings, Robb St, Regent St, Croal St, Camp St… I would say it’s a very important constituency within the entire municipality of Georgetown and I think we have some of the biggest problems there,” Kuppen explained.
He noted that these areas are prone to flooding so he plans to address this by rehabilitating the drainage systems and developing a long-term plan to prevent inundations. He stated he would advocate for Dutch experts to be brought in since “they know about the prevention of flooding.”
“Everybody knows that they [City Council] were cleaning the drains and so forth but after the last cleaning, there haven’t been any plans to do any cleaning again so I want to see a scheduled and regular cleaning of these drains and canals,” Kuppen declared.
The candidate posited that the Stabroek and Bourda markets are faced with many problems. The main issue he hopes to address is limited space to sellers which he described as “disastrous.” He explained that this has led to overcrowding and spilling of sellers onto the roadways.
“We have to clean up, we have to build them [Stabroek and Bourda] to accommodate more [sellers].” To this end, he suggested that there must to better planning with regards to rehabilitation of the Stabroek Market Wharf which should be able to accommodate many sellers.
Should he be elected a councillor, Kuppen said he would also advocate for better lane systems to ease traffic congestion in the city. He posited that there must be more collaboration between the Guyana Police Force and the City Constabulary to improve the traffic systems. He opined that City Hall should have a more active role in making traffic decisions.
The candidate decried the conditions of Parliament’s environs with many vagrants often seen at the location.
He noted that this issue deserves the attention of central government to cooperate with city council. “I would suggest that we move them [as] there is presently housing for these people,” the candidate observed.
Kuppen however pointed out that he has spoken to many vagrants who declined to take up residence at these housing facilities saying that they would be unsafe. To this end, the candidate outlined measures that could be implemented to correct this fear.
“I would want to go and make sure that those areas where they can go are safe and [also include] amenities for them where they can get clothing and so forth,” stated Kuppen.
The candidate also hopes to implement measures for youth empowerment and opportunities.
Kuppen stated that his world view and experience has qualified him to represent the needs of his constituents.
“I just believe that more can be done and I think most of the people… everybody is talking about doing this and that but people don’t really have any idea what to do about the city. I spent more than 25 years abroad where I was involved in community issues and I know that we can do much better than this.
He reasoned that constituents should give their support to him.
“I’m not a politician so to speak… I haven’t been in all the politics but I have a lot of experience in management – whether it was in the army, or the businesses I’ve held. I am a man of honesty and high integrity [and] I want to see good for the city. When something occurs, [constituents] are not gonna go to the party, they will go to their representatives who they elected and I am accountable. I want to see transparency and action,” emphasised Kuppen.
He stated his confidence in winning the constituency. (Guyana Times)