East La Penitence, Mon Repos markets set for upgrades

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The East La Penitence and Mon Repos markets have joined the list of markets slated for major infrastructural upgrades come 2021, under the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development’s work programme.

The upgrades, which will also benefit East Ruimveldt and Albouystown markets, will see some $14 million expended on repairs to the roofs, lighting and other measures. The East Ruimveldt and Albouystown markets are set to be completed by year-end.

Minister within the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Hon. Anand Persaud told the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Friday that the initiative is another demonstration of the Government’s response to vendors’ concerns since no repairs had been done to these structures for several years.

“The Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development is going to put up a proposal for next year’s budget whereby we can do a comprehensive rehabilitation,” he said.

Works to address lighting issues are set to start on the East La Penitence Market by the second week of November. This will allow vendors to ply their trade during the evening.

The Ministry will also be assessing the Stabroek Market to determine its needs.

Additionally, Minister Persaud said while he has not made an official tour of the Kitty market, stallholders had voiced concerns about the stall fees imposed by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council. The fee, he explained, excludes the provision of water or electricity, which he believes is unacceptable.

“I will be reviewing that at a ministerial level to see what can be done to make sure that those vendors and market is being occupied by stallholders. The sole responsibility for markets come under the Mayor and City Council but as a responsible Government and as a responsible Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development – that is something we will be looking at hopefully in next year budget,” the Minister said.

In 2018, the then Ministry of Communities signed a $25 million contract with BML Architects and Engineers Consultancy and Contracting Services for phase one of the rehabilitation of the Kitty Market.

The $240-million-project, based on the engineer’s estimate, caters for over 100 stalls, including fresh fruits and vegetables, a fish/meat section, clothing and grocery vending. Plans also include the creation of a public health department, market clerk’s office and revenue collection section and a conference hall to host community events.

The Kitty Market was established in 1882, two years after the Bourda Market was built. (Department of Public Information)

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