More than 40 apply for derelicts contract By Mark Ramotar
Guyana Chronicle
February 13, 2002

MORE than 40 persons have applied for the contract to remove all derelicts (old and abandoned vehicles) 'parked' on the side of roads.

The Government last month announced that it will be embarking on an intensive campaign to remove all derelicts left on roadsides.

The Ministry of Public Works and Communication has placed advertisements in sections of the media, inviting contractors who will be short-listed, for the maintenance of grass verges on a number of declared public roads across the country.

These include roads from Vreed-en-Hoop to Parika stretch; Vreed-en-Hoop to Patentia; Georgetown to Timehri; the Soesdyke to Linden highway; Georgetown to Enmore (Railway Embankment) and Hope - Mahaica (along the Unity deviation); Mahaica to Rosignol; New Amsterdam to Moleson Creek road; Supenaam to Charity road; and Georgetown to Mahaica.

The works will involve the removal of all vegetation and excess clay on the `shoulders' of the road, and derelict vehicles and dump sites from within roadway shoulders.

Public Relations Officer at the ministry, Mr. Ajay Baksh, told the Chronicle yesterday that the more than 40 applications are being reviewed, and the intensive campaign is likely to commence late this month or early next month.

"People should know now, today, that we are not going to tolerate them dumping their old and unused vehicles...or using the roadsides to park their vehicles which have been there for (a very long time)," President Bharrat Jagdeo told a news conference last month.

According to him, notices will be given to persons to remove their vehicles and other unwanted property from the roadside, and if they do not comply, the Government, through the Ministry of Public Works and Communications, will "fetch those old vehicles away and dump them at the Eccles dumpsite".

The dumpsite, located aback Eccles, East Bank Demerara, has been prepared for such a purpose, or as President Jagdeo put it, "it's a graveyard" to dump the junk.

"So please, if you have vehicles on the roadside, and they are not in use then we will be coming after them...", he urged.

The President said people putting up "all these nasty looking signs that keep going up around the place without permission advertising for all kinds of things" such as scrap vehicles will now have to seek permission before they can do so.

Baksh noted that last year the ministry had embarked on a similar exercise of removing derelicts from the roadways. But that was not very successful since as soon as the vehicles and other things were removed, a few hours or days later, more derelicts and garbage were dumped on the roadside by the same defaulters, he said.

He cited Herstelling, Grove and Craig on the East Bank Demerara as areas where such problems were encountered during the last campaign.

Baksh noted that this time around, the ministry will be taking a more serious approach to the campaign and persons who do not comply and continue to dump garbage and derelicts on the road will be reported to the Police and will be charged or fined.

He also told the Chronicle yesterday that the Public Works Ministry plans to set up a special unit to pick up animal carcasses - such as dead dogs, cows, horses and cats - that litter the roadways.

According to Baksh, discussions are under way on the establishment of such a unit which is likely to come into being by the end of March.