Corriverton on the move!

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Corriverton is in major upgrade mode with a 24-hour market to be
established and improved infrastructure already in place.

Under the stewardship of Mayor Krishnand Jaichand and his council, the
town of 12,000 residents was able to achieve several notable
developments in the past year.

The town is known for its trade of economical home appliances,
clothing and household items as well as fresh local organic produce
from the Indigenous communities of Orealla and Sipiruta. The Skeldon
Market is held daily where buyers are guaranteed to find fresh fish,
meat, vegetables and even unique pieces of jewellery. Such is the
traffic that unlike other markets in the county that usually close at
noon, the Skeldon market goes well into mid-afternoon then it starts
to wind down.

24 Hour Market

Heeding the government’s call for diversification and thinking outside
of the box, the Mayor and Town Council through the Ministry of Local
Communities have secured a plot of land obliquely opposite the Skeldon
Hospital for a 24-hour market.

Jaichand explained to the Department of Public Information (DPI) the
facility in its first phase will see the construction of twenty-four
uniform 10 x 10 ft stalls, each one specialising in a particular item.

“We recognise that we need to have new avenues of jobs in creating
revenue and that is why we are looking at this aspect and at the said
time it will provide for our people to have access to basic things at
any hour of the night.”

He continued that the process for selecting the candidates was very
transparent and due process was done to ensure no two stalls were
selling the same items to create competition and at the same time
provide a wide cross-section of various products and services.

The market when completed will be the first of its kind in Berbice.
It is a highly anticipated project since it is expected to set the
pace for other municipalities to follow suit.

Each stall will have a stylish bungalow roof, be equipped with
electricity and water and cater to an open area where people can sell
greens.

The first stall is completed and already occupied by Maylene Austin,
38, who trades in mainly grocery and snacks. She conveyed to the DPI
that the stall belongs to her brother but she is employed to manage
it.

“It is clean and nice here, business is good no complaints and it will
start to pick up more when them other stands finished and more people
start for sell,” she said with a smile.

Additionally, work was also done to enhance the existing Skeldon
Market to make the environment more comfortable. The township in
pushing its green initiative has replaced the zinc sheets on the roof
with transparent ones thereby reducing the dependency on electricity
to provide adequate lighting inside the market. This gesture though
simple has far-reaching benefits to the vendors who can now enjoy
higher profit margins by reducing their electricity bills and that
might have the trickle-down effect of reducing prices to consumers.

Infrastructure

No town is ever considered as moving forward unless there are
infrastructural changes constantly taking place. As such several roads
were asphalted through the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.

Most notable among these are the main access to Dukeston and Princeton
as well as the Line Path Playground Streets. These streets were
recently paved and have speed bumps, signs and road markings.

A further 30 streets underwent minor repairs and maintenance from the
budget allocations for the town.

Concrete Drains/Reservoirs

Another major project being undertaken is the construction of concrete
drains in the vicinity of Number 78 village. The drains, apart from
providing better drainage, will serve as reservoirs in the event of a
fire.

Jaichand explained that as recently as last December the entire
central Corriverton area would have been reduced to rubble due to the
unavailability of water and fire hydrants but was saved by unusually
low wind conditions and quick thinking by residents who broke several
embankments and drains to let water into a makeshift reservoir.  He
further revealed that due to the existing Guyana Water Incorporated
(GWI) distribution network in the town, fire hydrants cannot be
facilitated at this time.

As a temporary fix, GWI and the council have agreed to install a 4”
pipe that will be opened in the event of a fire to flood the drains so
that the fire service can have access to water.

While noting the concrete drains are a costly venture, it is the
intention of the council to move from earthen drains to concrete all
across the municipality in the long term.

Modernising Rate Collections

Barring central government and the regional administration’s input, no
town can be developed unless it has an effective rates and taxes
collection system to finance its projects. With the forward-thinking
mind of Jaichand, a businessman at the helm, the municipality was able
to overhaul a system it inherited that was unchanged for the past 48
years.

For the first time in the history of the town, computerized printed
receipts are being issued and entries are being electronically logged
for the collection of rates and taxes. Further, the entire office was
refurbished in keeping with the 21st century.

Even with the recent strides made by the Mayor and Town Council, there
is still a lot more to be done and the council is not without its
challenges especially in the disposal of waste.

Jaichand is calling on the residents to practice proper solid waste
disposal as often times the drainage systems are clogged and this lead
to flooding. Ideally, they should be looking at increased rates and
taxes to help offset the cost of cleaning up but given the fragile
nature of the local economy which will now receive a boost since the
Skeldon Factory is presently operational, they decided against it and
are asking residents to be cognizant of the efforts being made and
help do their part as well.

Article Categories:
Current Events · Daily Updates · DPI · GWI

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