Guyana: Georgetown Mayor Ubraj Narine has big Dreams — by Francis Quamina Farrier

Mayor Ubraj Narine

In the American Musical show, “South Pacific”, there is that song with the following lyrics, ” You must have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?”  In a very recent exclusive interview with His Worship, Mayor Ubraj Narine, JP, of Georgetown, he shared with me, some of his dreams for the improvement of Guyana’s Capital city.
About three decades ago, Georgetown had descended from the glorious days of being known as “The Garden City of the Caribbean”, to the embarrassing title of, “The Garbage City”.  A great city had fallen from grace, due to the falling standards of those who were its citizens. Garbage and filth was everywhere. Then came the 2015 General Elections and a new group of leaders almost immediately, commenced a dramatic CLEAN-UP Campaign. Some three years later, a new Mayor is at the helm, and he has many dreams for the continuing improvement of the city.

City Hall – Georgetown

The first dream of the new Mayor, is to have the deteriorating City Hall building repaired as soon a possible. That iconic Wooden Structure has been under my own journalistic radar for well over fifteen years, During that period, I did quite a number of articles on Television, online and in the print Media, about the sad state of the building. I interviewed the long-serving mayor, The Honorable Hamilton Green, about that issue, not only here in Guyana, but overseas as well. Other journalists have also written about the deteriorating condition of City Hall. Thousands of Guyanese, both at home and in the Diaspora, have also expressed their concern. Some even admitting that looking at the build in it’s present horrible state, brought tears to their eyes. But all to no avail.

The dream of the present City Mayor regards the restoration of the City Hall Building, is to raise the necessary funds for that mammoth project from abroad as well as locally. Approaches to International Organizations and individuals visiting from abroad, as well as accessing funds here in Guyana, are all elements of the Mayor’s dream for a City Hall which Citizens and visitors alike, can look at with pride.. “These plans are all in the pipeline” according to the Chief Citizen. Will the dream of the sitting Mayor of Georgetown regards the restoration of the crumbling City Hall begin to materialize within a year? Probably earlier? The Mayor told me that he will even have Boxes placed at certain venues for Concerned Citizens to make donations, no matter how small.
One of the big challenges for this relatively new Chief Citizen, is to rake in a bulk of the $8.4 billion owing in Taxes to the City Council. “The principal defaulters are Business Establishments”, according to the mayor. Soft spoken, but with a quiet resolve, Mayor Ubraj Narine, gave me the impression that his dream for the city Hall will come true. Defaulting Tax Payers will find it necessary, with the demand by the Mayor, to vastly improve Guyana’s Capital City, to do the right thing and PAY UP their back taxes as soon as possible.
Another dream of Mayor Narine, is to vastly change the Stabroek Market Square. “I would like to see it transformed to the way Times Square is in Manhattan, New York City, where citizens can go and relax and feel free from fear” he said. Mini Buses and other vehicular traffic will no longer be allowed in the The Stabreok Market Square. There will be peace and sanity in that location. Cleanliness and Beauty will replace garbage and ugliness. The Mayor also plans to have Fines for Littering increased from $50,000 to $100,000.
Another big dream of Mayor Narine, is to have all the large trees growing in the Koker out-fall at the side of the John Fernandes Wharf, removed by August to allow a much greater volume of water to drain from the land and end all the flooding in that Commercial downtown area of the city. A smaller dream of the Mayor is to have a new Conversation Tree replanted at that historic location along the City’s Northern Public Road. In all of his dreams for a much better Georgetown, Mayor Ubraj Narine is hopeful that all of the 200,500 citizens, and the tens of thousands more who visit Georgetown, from the Rural and Hinterland areas and from abroad, will dream with him for a Georgetown much more beautiful than it ever was.

One of the majority of Pavement Vendors who keep their environment clean. (Photo by Francis Q, Farrier)

The on-going confusion at the Stabroek Market Square will be a thing of the past. (Photo by Francis Q. Farrier)

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  • John  On 06/07/2019 at 8:23 am

    The city needs its glory back as the garden city 23yrs it was neglected

  • Philip Lythcott.  On 06/07/2019 at 9:42 am

    Re Rebuilding City Hall, GT (and other historic structures) in Guyana. I would suggest that a Go Fund Me page be set up in the States. I do not know if there any legal restrictions but it is given a try and a thought. This, of course, in addition to the thoughts of the Hon. Mayor.

  • dhanpaul narine  On 06/07/2019 at 1:41 pm

    Please Mr. Mayor fix the Big Market clock to work back. Let the community know how much it would cost so we could fund-raise for it.

  • wally n  On 06/07/2019 at 3:18 pm

    Maybe a trip to Singapore with a couple of Councillors might be worth while. A few of my table tennis friends visited, they were amazed at the cleanliness, it was a co-op effort between people and government. Just saying, at least he has vision, now all that is needed, cash cash and more cash.

  • Marie Vieira Geer  On 06/15/2019 at 10:34 am

    Mr Francis Quamina Farrier I read with great interest your article on Mayor Ubraj Narine Congratulations to him. I agree with his ambitions to be able to bring the The Garden City of the Caribbean back, and other projects he has in mind, but I feel his priority should be to do something about the Disgraceful, Disgusting, Deplorable conditions of a Place our Loved ones was Laid To Rest, known as Le Repentir Cemetery.
    In 2014 I saw first hand the overgrown disaster was unable to get close to visit where 4 of my Relatives were, which broke My Heart, in 2016 I was very impressed how the city was able to clean it up, three years later I heard it is back to what I saw in 2014.
    We should all keep in mind our Loved Ones are gone but not Forgotten, and I being a non-resident of Guyana the opportunity should not be taken from me whenever I visit, to go pay My Respect to “My Loved Ones” Hopefully with me expressing my opinion something will be done, also maintained. Thank You for reading My Comments. Best Regards

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