The collection and stockpiling of metal refuse have resulted in unneighbourly tensions and losses for residents of Water Street, Bagotstown, a usually quiet area along the East Bank of Demerara.
After years of damage to vehicles and flooding caused by the blockage of drains, residents are up in arms at the non-action of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) where they say several complaints were lodged in recent years.
The NDC Chairman Anand Kalladeen is the neighbour of the man who collects and stockpiles the scrap metal of old household appliances and vehicles, while flouting residential codes.
While the Chairman has not denied that complaints were made to the NDC, he said on Sunday that his hands are tied to take action because those residents who make complaints refused to attach their names to complaint documentation.
Kalladeen, during heated exchanges with residents, said until signed statements of complaints are lodged at the NDC, then action will be taken.
“I got to get a name. Who is going to give evidence when I take him to court? Nobody does that. Everybody hiding at the back of they shop and don’t want to come forward.
“None of them are going to the NDC and put their name in the book. The only way I can take action is when that happens,” he said while advising residents to follow due process.
The News Room visited the area at the request of angered residents on Sunday and many of them complained of severe damage to the sides and tires of their vehicles while others say the blockage has caused their yards to be inundated year-round, even during dry weather periods.
According to Kowsilla Brummel, she is now at the mercy of snakes and illnesses because of consequential flooding.
“I am a person with a stroke. I can’t use my one hand.
This thing going on for years, how much time I go into the NDC nobody ain’t coming. They say they coming and nobody ain’t coming,” she frowned.
Last week, Linden McCalmon who was taking his brother’s vehicle for a drive in the street, is now forced to repair the sides of that vehicle after it came into contact with an exposed piece of sharp metal.
“A lot of people complaining about the iron heap. A lot of people vehicle get scratched and nobody does anything… then he get the garbage pile up so much that this drain cannot drain.
People go to the Council several times, I ain’t living here yesterday, I living since 1976. Something has to be done,” he said.
The complaints were the same for Wayne Kalladeen.
“My tyre get puncture four times and when you go to him, he does say is nah he thing. When I passing, the iron does be out so much that I have to come out push it in and then pass.”
Another resident, Steven Williams also complained of damage to his vehicle.
“I had to end up going and buy a tyre for $37,000. When I talk to the guy, he says the children does be taking it out but I don’t think it’s the children because why would they pull it out.
“I was planning to go to the NDC but I hear people went already and nobody doing anything,” he related.
The man who has been collecting the scrap iron and selling it back as a business has denied the complaints. He has only been identified as ‘Malcolm’ or ‘Mallo.’
On Sunday he gave a commitment to removing the metal refuse within days.
“I just talk to the Chairman. The Chairman is living there and I just speak to him. This moving off between Monday or Tuesday.”