Messing up the Georgetown Seawall

Guyana Chronicle
February 14, 2001

THE reaction was swift from the page one photograph we carried yesterday of ugly piles of rubbish on the Georgetown Seawall.

It was a photo provided by the Works Ministry which, quite understandably, was upset that despite its "costly efforts" to keep the Georgetown Seawall clean, "some citizens continue to show no regard for cleanliness." The ministry said `No Dumping' signs had been placed along the seawall and no regard had been shown for these.

The Works Ministry also identified the rubble in the photo as coming from the burnt-out Park Hotel on Main Street, Georgetown.

The City Council, which is on an anti-litter campaign that we have warmly welcomed, promptly announced yesterday that it was proceeding to prosecute the proprietor of the firm which owned the Park Hotel for dumping the rubble on the seawall.

Public Relations Officer at City Hall, Mr Royston King said this was a bad example set by the company.

"We cannot prosecute the small people and allow big businesses to get away with such unfriendly environmental acts towards the city. So we have no option but to prosecute Kissoon", he stated.

When contacted, proprietor, Mr Hemraj Kissoon said he had contracted someone to remove the debris from the burnout site and the firm did not expect the person to dump it on the seawall.

"The company is against this type of practice and we are for a beautiful and well kept city", he said.

Owning up to the debris on the seawall is a good first step by the company and this would probably count if the City Council proceeds with prosecution.

Commenting on the City Council's `Don't Litter. Let's Glitter' message, we last week noted that the council had been trying in its clean-up campaign but that scorn had been heaped on some of its efforts.

"Maybe the council needs to high profile some of the culprits nabbed littering and should lose no time in getting some of those TV cameras that seem to pop up on special occasions in and around Georgetown to zoom in on court appearances and report on the (court) cases" it brings against alleged defaulters.

And we had urged Mr King to go for it.

The Works Ministry seems to have presented the City Hall's Litter Prevention Unit with a gift with the photo of the Park Hotel rubble on the seawall.

The small man cannot be hauled before the court and made to pay a fine for dropping the shells of `parched nuts' on the street while the big company gets off with a reprimand.

That would not be sending the right message.

So in spite of the remorse and regrets offered, the A.H. & L. Kissoon company may have to make up a little more for the careless dumping by the person contracted to remove the debris from the site of the burnt-out hotel.

Mr Kissoon told us yesterday that he has asked the contractor to remove the rubble from the seawall and we have no doubt that this would be done.

It is now up to the City Council and the company to decide on a way forward, given the growing concerns of the Works Ministry about the callous disregard shown for the seawall area and City Hall's drive to ensure people stop messing up the city.

Citizens and visitors deserve a better-kept capital.

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