The advertisement in Kaieteur News today offers a frightening prospect. A divide and rule tactic would be to offer a modest reduction in the charges for parking, followed by an expansion of parking meters in a larger portion of the Red Zone. Such a development would be to make it difficult for persons working in the heart of the now Yellow Zone to park outside it and walk to their work or to do business.
The reality is that the charges for parking are simply unaffordable to most people. Smart City Solutions (SCS) and the city council just don’t seem to get this. Regular workers in the city who own cars simply cannot afford another expenditure of $32,000 a month. Taxi and minibus passengers will not be able to afford the additional charges as a result of the vehicles having to pay parking fees. If they have to pay it, or anything other than a reduction to $40 an hour, they will have to abandon their motor vehicles. SCS and the city council will eventually realize that insults cannot change this reality.
If push comes to shove, and the above policy is adopted, I recommend that the stalwart citizens who have initiated this citizens’ campaign should think of an alternative strategy which I now propose, albeit from my armchair.
If SCS and the city council should seek to adopt the above strategy, a campaign of civil resistance should be immediately launched. All private, taxi and minibus drivers should be mobilized to park in any place in the city and decline to pay for parking. Some will be clamped but SCS and the city council cannot clamp all the vehicles.
Simultaneously a fund should be launched to pay the charges for any person whose parked vehicle has been clamped upon production of the necessary receipt. I am prepared to start the fund with a contribution of $100,000.
Hari N Ramkarran