Gov’t provides resources, intervenes to address garbage collection – Parag

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Recent complaints about garbage build-up in and around Georgetown have sparked concerns with senior politicians caught in the blame game. Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Sonia Parag said the Georgetown Mayor and City Council were provided with garbage collection and disposal resources.

“Garbage disposal and collection is done from your rates and taxes collected separately by the Mayor and City Council.

“The responsibility for garbage collection in this town is and has always been vested in the Mayor and City Council through the legislation. If they are not doing what they supposed to do then they must take the blame for that,” Parag told the News Room during an interview on Wednesday.

In recent weeks, residents from the city and surrounding communities have been complaining about the build-up of garbage. A major contributing factor to this, they claimed, is the absence of garbage collection.

The situation was brought to the attention of Opposition Member of Parliament, Coretta McDonald, who visited Alboystown and highlighted the situation in a recent video broadcasted on Facebook.

In the broadcast, McDonald cast blame on the ministry for the situation, while making allegations of corruption.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Sonia Parag

Addressing her comments, Parag pointed out that the Georgetown Mayor and City Council is responsible by law, for garbage disposal and collection from the city, which she said covers from the areas of Cummings Lodge on the East Coast of Demerara to Agricola on the East Bank of Demerara.

So to facilitate this, Parag explained that the Central Government provides a subvention to the Mayor and City Council to carry out capital works.

To have such a situation to arise, Parag said is because the “PNC controlled” Mayor and City Council is failing to execute its duties.

“Central Government gives a subvention to the municipalities and the NDCs (Neighbourhood Democratic Councils). The subvention that is given to the Mayor and City Council is for capital works…So there is no responsibility here and blame should not be placed on Central Government.

“Central Government intervenes and we have done so on many occasions to alleviate the garbage built up in the city and we have also had many complaints from residents asking us to intervene, which we have done,” Parag explained.

What the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development is responsible for, Parag explained is the creation of landfill sites and dumpsites for the disposal of garbage.

“So that we can have safe space for disposal of garbage and that it does not harm the residents and create an unhygienic environment. So we have been doing what is mandated in terms of that,” Parag said.

And this she explained is being done. In fact, she pointed out that the Ministry has been providing the NDCs and Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) with the necessary equipment such as excavators and tractors.

While landfill sites are fully operational, some on a 24-hour basis.

Providing an example, Parag said over the past week, the Haags Bosch landfill site has taken in 140 trucks of garbage daily.

“They are at 24-hour operation. So the access to the facility is very much open and is accessible to the Mayor and City Council…“It’s really a case of where they can’t account for why things are happening.

“They don’t want to take the responsibility,” Parag told the News Room.

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