A meeting among Chaguanas Carnival bandleaders and police to iron out crucial issues prior to the festival had to be called off as no officers turned up on Wednesday.
The bandleaders were left disappointed at the Chaguanas Borough Corporation’s Administrative Complex at Cumberbatch Street after they waiting for an hour.
Among the issues the bandleaders wanted to discuss was the process to obtain special permits to use their vehicles on restricted routes.
Richie Richards, the bandleader of Innocent Fun, said whenever he visited the Chaguanas Police Station seeking information on the issue he was met with bureaucracy and sometimes treated poorly by police.
Bandleaders said police were now processing vehicle permits at the Southern Division which proved to be a disaster when this was implemented two years ago.
Other concerns included the failure of police to remove offensive characters who gathered at the bars after they exit the judging area.
Bandleaders complained that the bars were filled with DJs who played loud music and attracted people who crowded the streets, assault and robbed masqueraders.
Nagessar said it was not the Chaguanas Carnival Committee that granted bar licenses but the court. Nagessar said he was hoping that there would be no roadside bars near judging points.
But if bars were allowed to operate, he said, they should not have any DJs playing on the site, since this attracted crowds.
Nagessar said he planned to reschedule a meeting with the police and the bandleaders and also request the assistance of the Police Mounted Branch to deal with crowd control.
Bandleaders also complained about the Committee’s decision to use the roadway instead of erecting a plywood stage on scaffolding. Nagessar said the cost of erecting a stage was over $80,000.
He said the Committee simply did not have adequate funds to construct a stage this year and suggested that bandleaders assist by pleading with corporate sponsors to get a stage erected.
Nagessar said based on discussions with the police earlier this month, he was hopeful that there would be over 100 police officers on duty in Chaguanas for the two main days of celebrations.
Reporter: Shastri Boodan