City to deploy five pumps to prevent repeat of floods

City Council Round Up
With Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
June 25, 2001

The City Engineer's department is moving swiftly to prevent a recurrence of the massive flooding of many areas in Georgetown which occurred between last Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Five hydraulic-driven mobile drainage pumps are being put into service from today at a number of outfalls in the city.

The pumps had been presented to the city council by the Civil Defence Commission as part of the El Nino assistance programme. They have the capacity to discharge 50 cubic feet of water per second.

The outfalls are sited in Kingston, Princes Street, River View, La Penitence, Ruimveldt, McDoom and Sussex Street.

A round up of the outfalls around the city last Saturday revealed that only one of the two pumping stations situated at Liliendaal and Kitty respectively were operational and these are to be repaired this week.

What was noticeable was the heavy siltation of several canals, which drain George-town, especially the one in Kingston, known as the Lamaha canal.

It was explained that because of the high tides during last Friday and Saturday morning, the sluices had to be closed resulting in a back up of the water in the city from the heavy rains. The water began to recede when the sluices were opened around 9 am on Saturday.

It was obvious that these canals needed immediate dredging and continued maintenance of sluices and regular monitoring of the performance of those municipal workers whose responsibilities are to prevent mishaps which could lead to the city being threatened by flooding.

From my observations, it's a hazardous and lonely job.

The Water Street vendors
Town Clerk Beulah Williams has written to the Local Government Minister Mr Clinton Collymore informing him of the move by President Bharrat Jagdeo to enter into discussions for the purchase of an area in Water Street which is owned by Toolsie Persaud Limited.

The council is seeking permission to begin talks with the owner of the land, which is situated in the downtown area.

The head of state made the announcement some two weeks ago when he spoke to a large gathering of Water Street vendors in the concert hall of City Hall. It was well received by the vendors and at least three city councillors representing the People's National Congress REFORM and the Good and Green Guyana, but denounced in some quarters by those who argue that the President was disregarding laid down procedures and protocol.

Take warning
City Hall will soon be putting into force a resolution which was passed in the council sometime ago aimed at enabling an easier flow of traffic on Robb Street between Bourda Street and Orange Walk.

The Constabulary and the City Engineer's office have been told by the Town Clerk to be ready to deploy personnel with the co-operation of the National Police in a campaign focussing on the removal of all hire cars which now occupy in some cases, both sides of the street between the Bourda Market and the Bourda Green.

The campaign is to begin as soon as the No Parking signs have been put down.

The council had been inundated with complaints both by market shoppers and stall holders and vendors about the situation outside their businesses on Robb Street, where shoppers find it difficult to find parking space.

Some vendors who sell pumpkins and plantains either wholesale or retail on the southern side of the Bourda market have now resorted to occupying parts of Robb Street with their produce, ensuring that the taxi drivers seek other parking spaces.

Mayor Hamilton Green and the Town Clerk have left for Miami in the United States, where they will attend a three-day meeting of Mayors and city officials. This column looks forward to the 'chief citizen' and the TC bringing back bankable proposals for the development of Georgetown, after the expected message of a 'moral and spiritual revival.'

The on-again off-again construction of a building opposite the burnt-out Kissoon's furniture store on Robb and Camp Streets is the latest misunderstanding between the City Engineer's department and Mayor Green. The mayor insists that he be informed in advance before any dismantling at a building site by the engineer's department is carried out. The question centres on compliance with the city's building bylaws.

Seventeen new recruits comprising both men and women have strengthened the City Constabulary. This department is still understaffed. Let's hope that with the addition of more constables 'Pablo' and others who block the city's pavements, thus defying the bylaws will now be kept in check.