‘It is a criminal offence to encumber pavements, public roadways’ – Nandlall reminds

The erection of permanent structures blocking pavements and public roadways without permission is a criminal offence.

And Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, is concerned that for decades the police and Mayor and City Council have failed to execute their duties in stemming these actions.

“It is a criminal offence to encumber pavements and public roadways. It is a criminal offence to block someone’s ingress and egress to their premises.

“It is a criminal offence to vend without permission. It is a criminal offence to erect permanent structures without permission on parapets, public roadways and public reserves,” Nandlall said during his weekly ‘Issues in the News’ broadcast.

Nandlall believes these offences are committed with impunity.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandall

And when the authorities attempt to enforce the law, Nandlall said they are met with all types of “irrelevant” considerations.

In recent months, business entities have been forced to approach the courts to get orders directing the City Council to remove vendors from around their premises.

In fact, the High Court delivered at least three judgements in the favour of city businesses seeking to have vendors removed from the entrances and outskirts of their premises.

Recently, attorney for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, Sase Gunraj wrote to the City Council seeking to have vendors removed from outside the hospital premises within the next seven days.

Failure to do so, will result in legal action.

According to Nandlall, the City Council has the statutory power to address these matters.

However, for decades, he said the Council has “neglected” to execute its duties.

“While the City Council has a statutory power and a statutory duty to address these matters and to remove these unlawful encumbrances and unlawful vending from the streets and from public reserves without Georgetown and within any municipality.

“The Guyana Police Force also have an overriding objection to ensure that there is law and order. That is there duty but there have been a combination of neglect for decades,” Nandlall explained.

This, he said, resulted in the “monstrous” situation of unlawful vending, around the city, resulting in chaos and unhygienic conditions.

“It is up to us as people if we want to live in that type of chaos, disorder, stench and nastiness because we know what these vending result in, the garbage, the blockages, the unlawful erections, the unhygienic environment that is created as a result of these unlawful conduct,” Nandlall said.

Noting that he is not against vendors, Nandlall said illegal vending cannot be tolerated.

“It will not be tolerated in any civilised society,” he said.