Over $25M contract signed for Kitty Market works
One day after vendors of the Kitty Market protested the slothfulness of the market rehabilitation project, the Ministry of Communities signed a contract with BML Architects and Engineers valued over $25M for works to continue.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan said the contract will see the construction of 15 external and 10 internal stalls, completion of the sanitary block, the revenue collection section and an office for the Market clerk.
A new deadline in March 2018 has also been set for completion of the project.
“We are pleased to be in a position to award this contract to the successful bidder …to allow for this project to go forward…to allow for occupation and use of this market by our vendors,” Minister Bulkan was quoted saying.
The rehabilitation of the market began in 2016 by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) but was delayed after the council experienced constraints.
Central Government stepped in providing the M&CC with $200M in the 2018 National Budget of which $50M has been dedicated by the council for works on the Kitty Market.
According to the DPI article, Town Clerk, Royston King said this is a demonstration of Government’s commitment to the M&CC’s efforts to sustainably develop the capital city.
BML Architects and Engineers is owned and operated by Baynard Lord.
On Saturday, vendors led by Opposition Member of Parliament (MP) Juan Edghill, rallied in a protest action outside of the Kitty Market alleging poor supervision of the project, and that workers show up to work to play table tennis and build coffins.
The vendors, some of whom traveled all the way from Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara (ECD), to ply their trade, also decried the conditions they are now forced to work in – an open space where they are affected by rain and sun, flies and a terrible garbage situation.
In some cases too, vendors alleged that they are being forced to make double payments to the City Council – a daily rental fee to vend on the road corners and a monthly fee in order to safeguard stalls in the Kitty Market for its reopening.