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City not responsible for downtown wrecking
Police officers attached to the Central Police Station in Port-of-Spain are responsible for the increase in wreckers in downtown Port-of-Spain, says mayor Louis Lee Sing. In a brief telephone interview yesterday, Lee Sing said city police officers of the Port-of-Spain Corporation were responsible for areas such as Ariapita Avenue and uptown Port-of-Spain, but any wrecking in the heart of the city was done by the Central Police.
Lee Sing was responding to questions on an increase in wrecking of vehicles in the city. While he maintained that the new traffic plan for Port-of-Spain would not begin until July 11, Lee Sing said as of April 4, standing rules in the city had been implemented.
These included parking rules, and were meant, Lee Sing said, to alleviate traffic within the city limits. In an interview, president of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud said like all other problems which had plagued Port-of-Spain, the issue of a chronic lack of parking and the presence of the wrecker remained unresolved.
He said those issues also remained a threat to the future viability of the city. “Anyone with eyes to see will immediately recognise that commerce in our city centre is in decline and that investments, particularly in retail and distribution have occurred outside of Port-of-Spain,” said Aboud.
He said in downtown Kingston, Jamaica, where more than 30 per cent of buildings were unoccupied, the wrecker still operated. “That type of decay is once again confronting Port-of-Spain,” said Aboud. Aboud said DOMA did not condone reckless parking, but understood that those in authority needed to collaborate with those who were still doing business in the city to find solutions that did not punish members of the public who were still willing to drive to Port-of-Spain.
“The callousness associated with wrecking people’s cars on streets without any signage is a clear example of the type of metamorphosis that occurs when politicians get into office and is in keeping with the open ‘you to ketch’ method of governance that Caribbean societies have grown accustomed to,” Aboud said.
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