Ravi Patrick, 34, and Munesh Ramsaroop, 24, of Charity Village, Essequibo Coast, was on Monday remanded to prison on a trafficking in narcotics charge. The duo appeared before Magistrate Dylon Bess where they pleaded not guilty to the charge.It is alleged that on August 5, 2016, ranks from the narcotics unit in G Division conducted a sting operation at Charity Housing Scheme.During the operation Police used a vagrant to purchase cannabis from alleged vendor Patrick and labourer Ramsaroop. The duo allegedly sold the vagrant the illegal substance in a black plastic bag but was subsequently nabbed afterwards.The men were told of the offence and arrested. They were taken to Charity Police Station where the black bag was opened and a quantity of seeds, leaves and stems of cannabis were weighed and amounted to 49.1 grams.Police Prosecutor Haimwant Ramsewack objected to bail.They were remanded and the case will continue on August 22.
Canal flooding…farmers maintain call for REO’s removalAfter farmers in Canal Number One Polder, West Bank Demerara had bashed the Administration of Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) over its reported failure to address the flooding situation, that administration and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council have thrown all the blame for the flooding on the contractor responsible for clearing the main drainage canal.Fom left: Canals Polder NDC Chairman Shameer Baksh; Regional Executive Officer Dennis Jaikaran, and Naushad Ali Boodhoo, Overseer of the Water Users AssociationGuyana Times visited the L’Esperance area last Saturday and met farmers, who complained bitterly about the administration’s lack of monitoring. The farmers told this publication that the water inundation of their farms has left them with millions of dollars in damages.According to the farmers, the flooding has been caused by a number of factors, chief of which is the lack of proper maintenance of the main drainage canal. They said the Canals Polder Water Users Association had burst the control dam to install tubes, and this had also contributed to the flooding.The farmers reported that their farms have been flooded for weeks now, and they suspect that Regional Executive Officer Dennis Jaikaran has been hiding from them, thus they are calling for his removal as well.In response to farmers’ criticisms, Jaikaran assembled Canals Polder NDC Chairman Shameer Baksh and Water Users Association Overseer Naushad Ali Boodhoo, and together the trio issued a joint statement exculpating themselves from blame.A section of Dharamdeo Singh’s farm under water“We are not the body responsible for the main drainage Canals Numbers 1 and 2, nor are we in any position to make award on contracts for the clearing. All residents, farmers and other beneficiaries of Canals Polder have said to us that the flooding was mainly because of the grossly substandard and inefficient work from the contractor responsible for cleaning and maintenance of the Canals. We are forced to believe the same,” Jaikaran said.Additionally, Boodhoo said the tubes were placed where they are many years ago, and the farmers have been urged to make a formal request to have the tubes removed.Baksh, meanwhile, said the contractor has been derelict in performing his job, and this dereliction has been reported to the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority, (NDIA) but nothing has been done.While the regional authorities continue to cast blame, the farmers continue to suffer; and according to 87-year-old farmer Dharamdeo Singh, the floodwater shows no sign of receding. He said farmers are maintaining their call for the removal of both the NDC Chairman and the REO, since they are of no assistance to the community.He further related that farmers are calling for Deokinandan to be reinstated as the contractor to clear the main drainage canal.Farmers say the current contractor cleans the main access canal haphazardly. They contend that the canal is laden with “shrimp moss,” which hampers the flow of water, and that the contractor neglects to clear this moss.The farmers also claim to have been told by the NDC Chairman that the NDC is bankrupt, and no assistance can be rendered them.Just last December, the residents of Canals Polder experienced a devastating period of flooding, resulting in them incurring millions of dollars in losses. Government is yet to assist those farmers, and this current flooding has come just as they were getting back on their feet. read more