Our Readers' Opinions
September 23, 2016
Some wrong and confusing signals here in SVG

Editor: It has been some time since I use your printed media to comment on some pertinent issues which continue to send some bad, wrong and even confusing signals in society. These confusing signals, I am sure, have had many Vincentians wondering what the hell is going on, particularly in parts of Kingstown and its outskirts. I am sometimes left to feel that the Physical Planning Division has thrown its “hands up in the air” so to speak, when they attempt to do their work, and are interrupted by the many political interferences by politicians and politics.{{more}} This situation is allowing our people to become a society of disorganized people, in their efforts to mainly support political parties. These confusing practices need to be nipped in the bud by the relevant authorities ASAP.

Let’s take, for instance, the sidewalk in front the Central Police Station in Kingstown. This area has a sign saying no loitering of any kind. Many times pedestrians are chased away from standing on the sidewalk outside the station, even to greet each other. The sentry at the entrance will say to you “move on, you can’t stand there.” But what do we see happening for some time now by members of the police force, they are loitering in the area and requesting pedestrians to stop and converse with them. They have been holding exhibitions annually, selling raffle tickets, even going as far as holding up traffic in front of the station to ensure that drivers purchase a ticket from them. Of late, I have noticed that the police themselves have set up a vending stall every weekend on the sidewalk outside the station. If this isn’t breaking the same rule of no loitering, tell me what is. This bad, wrong and confusing signal needs to be curtailed immediately, as it is a threat to security.

I noticed that a physically challenged lady constructed a stall looking like a house next to the North River, opposite the building housing the BRAGSA office. This was, however, removed within two weeks, but what about the unsightly development presently located in front of the main entrance to the MCMH. Some six vendors have taken up vending places in that area alone, close to the Kingstown Clinic. Some would occupy the outside seats with their containers and iceboxes. One lady who vends from a van with food and drinks sells the same food and drinks which the nurses and doctors are trying to tell those with diabetes and hypertension especially to avoid. The latest vendor erected a stall and began selling fruits. Before you know it, that stall was extended to a shed during the Carnival to sell drinks. Now the selling of alcohol is the new commodity being offered right there in front of the MCMH.

One realizes that times are hard and the economy is slow, but that’s no excuse to turn the capital into an uncontrolled vending haven for all. It is unsightly, bad, wrong, and confusing. Such vending, especially the erection of the stall should not be encouraged at all.

Some years ago, Minister Julian Francis promised to clean up Kingstown and have collap-sible stalls designed for vending. One is still left to see these stalls. Instead, the situation got worse with a pending election and the retirement of Benjamin Haynes. Today, the reclamation area, from the fish market to the Leeward Bus Terminal, has a line of unsightly, bad, and confusing signals, with tarpaulin, pallet board, torn umbrella, gambling and rum drinking on a daily basis. These need to be cleaned up, as we are fast experiencing the scene in Port au Prince, Haiti.

On the outskirts of Kingstown, one wonders why the Physical Planning Division allowed the erection of a temporary shed below the wall next to the bus stop close to Kentucky, while the coconut vendor takes over the bus shed.

Why are all those unsightly looking stalls still being allowed outside the Massy store at Arnos Vale? Compare them with the premises housing the Massy Supermarket and KFC.

Oh and before I forget, why are vehicles allowed to occupy the entire platform where the old Treasury building was?

There must be some limit and regulations to the parking in that area. It’s another bad, wrong and confusing signal.

Are we serious?

Curt Browne