Letters to the Editor

Effective town planning?

Friday, September 14, 2012    

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Dear Editor,

“Chacka-chacka” Mandeville, I hate bureaucracy. In fact, if I had the power, I would install large billboards all over Jamaica, saying "Bureaucracy is hazardous to your health". For if you take bureaucrats seriously, you must end up with high blood pressure. Check this. Last Sunday I was in Mandeville, capital city of the parish of Manchester and as it was lunchtime, I decided to stick to the evil I know and head to a popular chain for lunch. Thank God they did not serve lunch at that branch, for as I was leaving I went to the rest room. Biggest mistake of my life, for outside of a pit toilet, have never smelt anything so foul and the floor was covered with water.

On Monday I decided to call the public health authorities in Mandeville for them to send an inspector there. Guess what they told me? They could not take a report over the phone as I must come in person to make the report! Now understand this: it is the job of public health authorities to ensure that all public places are hygienic, and I imagine, even more so those serving food.

Now they are always complaining about shortage of staff, so shouldn't they be happy to get information that could assist them to target particular places since they can’t cover all? Oh no, such thinking is just too logical for bureaucrats, I guess, so if I do not wish to travel some 60 miles to make a report, this restaurant will most likely continue to operate in an unsanitary manner.

As I related this to a friend she laughed and said I was lucky they did not tell me that in addition to coming in personally, I would have to fill in six copies of the complaint forms! Oh, poor Jamaica. If this country does not sink under the burden of unnecessary bureaucracies, we will be lucky. On another note, I had not been into that town for probably 15 years, but my memory of it was that it used to be a clean and aesthetically pleasing place.

Not any more; for it seems over the years it has been developing in a most “chacka-chacka” manner and everything looks run-down and disjointed. I am no fan of the parish council system which I consider redundant, but every time I express that concern, I am told that "town planning” is their major function. Well, if what is happening to Mandeville, and has happened to St Andrew, Montego Bay, Port Antonio, Ocho Rios and Port Maria, are examples of effective town planning, dawg nyam wi suppa.

Joan Williams

Kingston 10

gratestj@gmail.com

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