In a weeks’ time, the parking by-laws is expected to be signed by Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan, after it was passed by City Hall. However, several persons are not too keen on the by-laws which is currently in the public domain for scrutiny.
Fierce critic of the current parking meter contract and by-laws, political commentator, Raymon Gaskin, noted that the current by-laws have a lot of illegality in it and it does not bode well for the ordinary Guyanese.
Gaskin said for example, the by-laws have a clause which states, that if monies are owed by the errant parker, their vehicle will be seized and sold. That clause did not change from the old by-laws. Gaskinn noted that nowhere in Guyana’s laws there is provision for a company to seize and sell a person’s vehicle, as a matter of fact, only the courts can do such thing as set out in Article 142 of the constitution of Guyana, whereby the court can seize a vehicle for evidence and so forth, Gaskin noted.
He further alluded that the committee which was set up to look at the previous by-laws, did not heed to the public protest where there were calls to provide special parking for schools. Hospital, Government utility vehicles, parlor services and make parking affordable. The new by-laws provides for parking to be charged $800 per day or $24,800 per month for one person who works in the city and $49,600 per month for a couple who works in the city with two vehicles.
The commentator stressed that a lot is wrong with the new by-laws, one that it is corrupt and too expensive. He further noted that he supports paid parking, but, not it its current form. He also said that City hall has no respect for the courts of Guyana, because they are going to introduce a new set of by-laws, when there is a matter of similar nature engaging the attentions of the courts. Gaskin stressed that if the by-laws take effect, he along with other colleagues will take to the street in full numbers once again.
Recently the Georgetwon Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and the Movement against Parking Meter (MAPM) have signaled their intentions to oppose the re-introduction of paid parking with Smart City Solutions (SCS) in Guyana, a company with no records of metered parking project anywhere in the world. The two bodies have noted their concerns with Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan.
The Government has already indicated that the Parking Meter project will return to the city and that central government will not intervene only if it is asked to do so, this was related to the media by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon during a press conference last week.
Many businesses complained bitterly about the expensive paid parking in the city when it was last introduced. The President of the GCCI noted that businesses were down by some 30-70% in some cases.
Efforts to contact the Public Relation officer at City Hall, Debra Lewis, proved futile.