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What am I selling? The cost of 1 is $100. The cost of 12 is $200. The cost of 100 is $300. What am I selling?
If you have not guessed it as yet, I am selling lot numbers! The cost of the lot number is not proportional to the number of the lot. It is in proportion to the number of digits in the number of the lot. But I am selling more than lot numbers. I am selling also the idea that we need to put the lot number on our buildings, or on our gates, or on the fences of our properties. Maybe Fire Insurance Companies can encourage property-owners to put the lot numbers on their properties.
10, 20, 30, 40 years after our laudable Housing Schemes have been opened, one can walk down several streets in these schemes and one cannot tell where we are exactly, especially if one is a stranger! At the same time, it must be noted that dozens of streets in our Housing Schemes have no names. Add to this scenario the absence of lot numbers. In an emergency by day or by night, how does the Fire “Reel” or the Ambulance or John Public know exactly where to go? Is it by the smoke or the glare of the fire, or ……….? We are in the 21st century, not in the 19th century!
Furthermore, a perusal of the Voters Lists shows such inelegant names of streets in the Addresses columns – “Back Road, School Street, Cow Pen Street, Ice House Road, Public Road, Overhead Tank Street, Red Road, Old Road, ……….” Could not our NDC’s do a better job? Or, could they not do their job? After all these years, could they not find suitable names for the streets in their communities? Why not name streets/roads/lanes/boulevards/avenues after Past Councillors, or after outstanding villagers, or after local fruits, or after Guyanese poets, or ……….? A few years ago I was in Canada visiting, and I was driven through a new Housing Scheme in Brampton, Ontario. Even before the first house was constructed, the Housing Scheme had paved roads, concrete drains, street names on street signs, connections at every lot for electricity and for water (which are needed in construction). It is not a question of First World country and Third World country. It is more a question of proper planning and foresight.
Fifty years after national independence, our policy-makers and our administrators cannot get some basic things straight or right, including noise control. We have to accept and tolerate unacceptable standards of life and living in too many communities. I live in Mocha-Arcadia, E.B.D. and I ask my fellow-villagers why the environment of our community cannot be like that of New Providence, E.B.D.
So, what am I selling? I am selling Elegance, and Standards, and Culture, and ……….
Walter B. Alexander
Deputy Permanent Secretary (Ret’d)