Republic Park residents want roads fixed for Cricket World Cup
-are being encouraged to rent houses to visitors

Kaieteur News
January 5, 2007

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They are being encouraged to make their houses available to visitors for Cricket World Cup, but residents of Republic Park on the East Bank of Demerara are not too sure if this will be a good idea, given the condition of their roads and surrounding vacant lots.

At least three of the roads in the community have taken on the appearance of minefields in the dry season and mud dams when it rains, and, according to several residents, it has been this way for the past five years.

Their efforts at getting the situation rectified have been met with excuses by the village council and, to make matters worse, huge trucks contracted to the Guyana Sugar Corporation continue to traverse the road, making them impassable, especially during the current rainy season.

The word from the Neighbourhood Democratic Council is that repairs to the roads in Republic Park have not yet been budgeted for and residents are wondering when this will be done.

Speaking with this newspaper yesterday, one resident said that Guysuco trucks that previously used a dam to transport workers are now using Munroe Street in Republic Park . This, the resident said, has contributed significantly to the deterioration of the road.

Efforts were made to have Guysuco repair the road but this proved futile.

In addition, works related to preparations on the East Bank of Demerara for Cricket World Cup have resulted in other heavy duty vehicles using the roads, causing significant damage to which there has been no indication as to when it will be repaired.

The resident said that after seeing work done in neighbouring Nandy Park recently, a delegation from Republic Park visited the NDC to inquire about the fixing of their roads.

The resident said that they were told that they will have to wait until funds are allocated for that phase of road repairs.

One resident said that officials from the Ministry of Tourism have been encouraging residents in the community to be prepared to make their homes available for renting during this year's Cricket World Cup.

“Yes we are glad to rent our houses, but the visitors will never be able to get to them with the roads in the condition that they are. From the time they see the roads, it's a no-no,” the resident stated.

Another resident said that taxis are refusing to drop them to their homes, even late at nights, because of the condition of the roads.

“They charge you $1200 and when they put you off, you have to walk the rest to your house,” another resident told this newspaper.

The residents said that on a few occasions, they got together and gathered road waste from the main East Bank roadway to patch certain sections of the deteriorating roads, but this, they said, was not enough.

In addition, bushes that have grown into trees in neglected lots have been causing fear among the residents.

“You don't know if people are living behind them because they are so high…you cannot tell if people are hiding there,” a Nandy Park resident reasoned.

He suggested that the council should cut these bushes and charge the expense to the property owners on their rates and taxes.

But with Cricket World Cup a mere sixty-five days away, it will take a Herculean task to rectify the problem; but of course, there have been assurances that all will be well in time for the mega-event.