…as Govt bails out City HallBy Lakhram BhagiratMonths after withdrawing their services due to not being paid for work already done over a protracted period of time, garbage contractors Puran Bros Disposal Services and Cevon’s Waste Management Inc. have resumed collecting garbage in the City after Central Government would have made them payments.A Cevon’s facility was erected outside the Stabroek Market on SundayThe Mayor & City Council (M&CC) had, through the Ministry of Communities, approached Central Government for a bailout of four hundred and seventy-five million, six hundred and thirty-five thousand, two hundred and forty-five dollars ($475,635,245) to settle the City’s debt to Puran Brothers, Cevon’s, and another company.Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan disclosed that Government had decided to grant City Hall the bailout.Georgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, had said the City was in a crisis all way round, but especially when it came to addressing the current garbage situation since the two major contractors had withdrawn their services. At an Extraordinary Statutory Meeting of the M&CC, she had bashed Solid Waste Director Walter Narine for misguiding her in relation to the current garbage situation.“I am looking at a bailout from the Government to bring this City back in order; because the garbage is killing me, and Mr Narine can’t tell me they got no red velvet out there, because the place nasty. On Mandela Avenue it is laced with garbage; there is garbage everywhere,” she had said.Puran Bros Disposal Services has put back its compactor at Stabroek Market (seen here on Sunday afternoon), and will have all its trucks back on the road today collecting the City’s garbage“We are in a crisis, in my own opinion, with this garbage. I am not listening to Mr Narine anymore, because he is not directing me right; he telling me one thing in here, and when I go out there is something else; and I am believing everything I seeing with my own two eyes,” Chase-Green had added.She had noted that the smaller contractors who were taken on to fill the gaps did not have the capacity to continue picking up the City’s garbage on a long-term basis.Manager of Puran Bros, Kalesh Puran, has told the Guyana Times that the company has already recommenced collecting garbage in the city. “We have already collected the household and commercial waste. We also put back our compactor at Stabroek Market, and tomorrow (Monday) you would see all our trucks back on the road collecting the garbage,” he said.Solid Waste Director Walter Narine has said these two contractors would recommence working for the City with reduced responsibilities. He said the new arrangement would see each contractor being paid $10 million per month for their services, as compared to what had previously obtained, with them getting paid sums ranging from $43 million to 45 million per month.The M&CC has implemented fees for commercial waste collection with effect from September 1. Small business operators across Georgetown are required to pay $5000 per month; medium-size businesses are required to pay $8000 per month; and large business operators are required to pay $12,000 per month for the collection of their waste.The Solid Waste Director had told the Council that while the originally approved fees for commercial garbage collection were $5000, $10,000 and $15,000; the latter two were reduced to $8000 and $12,000 after consultations.Puran Brothers Disposal and Cevon’s Waste Management had withdrawn their services on July 30, 2017, after City Hall’s debts had risen to the multi-million-dollar range. According to the companies, the issue of non-payment has been a long-standing one, with many debts going as far back as 2015.Many Councillors at Monday’s statutory meeting commended themselves for keeping the City clean despite the withdrawal of these significant garbage collection services. A Councillor, however, noted reports that a truck (registration number provided) had been going around charging residents $500 to empty their garbage barrels – a service which currently attracts no additional fees for homeowners.