Bus operators call for suspension of heavy-duty vehicles during rainy season

first_imgLinden-Lethem trailThe condition of the Linden-Lethem trail has worsened over the past weeks as a result of the consistent rainfall and as such, bus and other small vehicle operators are calling on the relevant authorities to suspend heavy-duty vehicles from traversing the trail until the rainy season is over.Guyana Times understands that since the May-June rainy season began, the already deplorable Linden-Lethem trail is becoming almost impassable, posing risks to commuters. In fact, it was pointed out that almost daily, vehicles are overturning along the trail, with the most recent incident being on Wednesday.One bus operator, Terry Ramjohn, told Guyana Times that he barely managed to make it up to Lethem on Wednesday. According to him, over the past two weeks, the condition of sections of the trail has worsened.This passenger bus got stuck while climbing one of the hills along the Lethem trail“It is drivable but there are certain areas especially in the Iwokrama Road, where there is a truck there pulling you up the hill because you cannot drive up as normal so you have to be towed up the hill,” he noted.Ramjohn further highlighted that there are two damaged bridges between Mabura and the Kurupukari Crossing and if the rain continues at this pace, the road will be eventually be closed off.“I barely passed to come in (Lethem). It’s dangerous for motorists and what they are doing there is putting their lives at stake because if they fall into that creek there, they gonna die. One truck driver was hurt last week and those bridges haven’t been looked at. There is also a ‘wash-away’ in the Iwokrama Road and eventually in a matter of days, if the rain continues, you wont be able to pass,” the bus operator stated.To this end, Ramjohn is calling on the relevant authorities to suspend all lorries, including lumber trucks, overloaded trucks carrying goods into Lethem and other heavy-duty vehicles from using the trail until the rainy season is over since they contribute to the destruction of the roadway, thus making it almost impassable for smaller vehicles to traverse.“We are suggesting as small operators for the suspension of especially the log trucks or the trucks moving timber the interior, to suspend them until the rainy season stops. Because they are the ones that are destroying the bridges with the weights they are carrying. The bridges were not designed for those weights. Otherwise the whole road is gonna be locked off when the bridges are destroyed and then nothing would be able to pass,” Ramjohn pointed out.The bus operator further explained that since the trail has gotten worse, maintenance cost for vehicles have gone up. “All has gone double or triple, for the buses especially – the smaller vehicles which aren’t designed to go off-road – that usually bring in passengers. The driving time too now has doubled, it now takes about 24 hours to get to Lethem from Georgetown when it usually takes about 11 to 12 hours,” he stated.Only last week, commuters had complained bitterly about the condition of the roads, calling on Government to intervene and repair the sections that are almost impassable. This stemmed from a truck toppling into a nearby creek on Saturday. The driver, Vicky Indardeo, was attempting to manoeuvre lorry GWW 5832, carrying a load of sawn lumber, when it went overboard while crossing Christmas Bridge. Luckily, Indardeo only sustained injuries in the mishap.At last week’s post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister of State Joseph Harmon had assured that works to upgrade the Linden-Lethem road are ongoing.He said, “The road itself, that is, the Linden Highway, is a work in progress. I can say that because some work has already started in Lethem. You would recognise that some of the culvert’s work has already started.”Back in February 2017, the Public Infrastructure Ministry had said it was gearing to commence construction of the first phase of the Linden-Lethem Road project, which will be funded through the United Kingdom Government under its UK Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) programme.In September 2015, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced a £300 million investment in vital new infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and ports, to help drive economic growth and development across the Caribbean region. Guyana was named among nine Caribbean states to benefit from the grant.The first phase of the project spans from Linden to Mabura, and covers approximately 122.5 kilometres of road and the construction of the bridge across the Essequibo River at Kurupukari.Meanwhile, the remaining 331.5km of the laterite road will fall under other phases and will be undertaken through funding from other sources. Guyana is collaborating with the Brazil Government to complete this section of the trail and considering taking financial assistance from the Chinese. Government is also considering funding from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).last_img read more

TV viewers happily greeting Hallmark

first_img“Most of our materials, in a very complex and troubled world, are situations that elevate the human spirit and cherish human relationships and celebrate life,” said Kenin, Crown’s executive vice president for programming. It’s natural for executives to tout their programs and ratings to the media. But Hallmark is reaching for a different audience: the cable and satellite carriers it needs to convince that the channel’s popularity should earn it higher license fees. Cable industry realities have kept the channel’s subscriber fees in the cellar despite audience growth. “We’re an independent, so we’re not part of a larger group that says if you pay us more we’ll throw in such-and-such other networks. We have to do it the old-fashioned way, which is to say on the merits,” Schleiff said. “And in this real, cruel world we live in, the merits are not always rewarded commensurately with the real value.” Other channels with comparable ratings but corporate connections can get up to a dollar per subscriber per month, “way above what Hallmark Channel” receives, Schleiff said. (One news report put Hallmark’s license fees at 5 cents per subscriber.) That has forced Hallmark to rely largely on advertising revenue, compared to the “duel revenue” streams of ad sales and carriage fees other channels enjoy, he said. The combination of startup costs from Hallmark Channel’s August 2001 launch and its operating deficit has created a $1 billion debt for Crown, Schleiff said. Crown was formed by Hallmark Cards Inc., which owns 67 percent of the media company. A bid last year to sell the Hallmark Channel was unsuccessful despite its robust number of subscribers – about 75 million – and 2006 ad sales of nearly $200 million. Crown abandoned the effort, at least for now. Schleiff, the former Court Television Network chairman and CEO who was named to his current job last October, has the task of improving Hallmark’s bottom line. He’ll be renegotiating contracts this year with major cable and satellite operators such as Time Warner Cable and DirecTV Inc. He said he intends to “educate” them about Hallmark’s true value. For instance, conventional wisdom has it that younger viewers, supposedly more susceptible to ads, are the gold standard; Schleiff contends that Hallmark’s older-skewing audience shouldn’t be undersold. If carriers want to drive subscribers to other services, such as high-speed Internet access, “our audience of baby boomers represent the bill payers. They should make sure they’re taking great care of the Hallmark Channel viewers,” Schleiff said, laying out his argument. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! For the fourth quarter of 2006, it came in at No. 6. In December weekend prime time, it was the most-watched ad-supported channel. It bested competitors including TBS and USA Network with big seasonal guns, including the original movie “The Christmas Card,” and with the U.S. TV premiere of the hit documentary “March of the Penguins.” In 2005, the channel ranked No. 11 in household ratings. It averaged 930,000 daily viewers in 2005, with the number rising to nearly 1.2 million last year. The ratings indicate “there is an insatiable demand for what is now a very limited supply of family-friendly programming,” said Henry Schleiff, president and chief executive officer of Crown Media Holdings Inc., which owns and operates the channel. While most channels try to be “a little bit hipper, a little bit cooler, a little bit sharper than the other one,” he said, Hallmark is serving audiences in search of “good stories and classic series.” Kenin, who oversees selection of the nearly two-dozen original movies that air annually on Hallmark, said he has a simple rule when reviewing scripts: “If I’m not crying, we don’t do them.” In January 2002, before David Kenin’s first news conference as Hallmark Channel’s programming chief, Kenin’s then-boss told him that he’d be introduced along with a requirement to make the fledgling enterprise a top-10 cable channel. “I said, `Could you just wait until I get back from the bar? I’m not going to be prepared to defend that right away,”‘ Kenin recalled, wryly. Five years later, Hallmark has achieved what seemed unlikely for a channel that started with what Kenin called flat-line ratings and gained early traction with reruns of hoary broadcast series including “The Rifleman.” Hallmark finished last year as the No. 9 advertiser-supported cable channel in U.S. households, the result of its self-proclaimed family-friendly prime-time lineup stuffed with TV movies as sweetly sentimental as a traditional Hallmark greeting card. last_img

PICTURES SHOW WHY DONEGAL IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTY IN IRELAND

first_imgThese stunning snaps were sent in to us yesterday, by Adam-Rory Porter and Brendan Rodgers, which show why Donegal is regarded by many as one of the most stunningly beautiful counties in the Ireland. The good weather is expected to continue over the Bank Holiday weekend, so if you’re out and about enjoying the beauty our wonderful county has to offer, then please send your snaps in to [email protected] SHOW WHY DONEGAL IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTY IN IRELAND was last modified: May 29th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BeautydonegalFeaturesnewsPhotographspicture specialweatherlast_img read more