President Ali says Parika vendors will be removed from roadside once market is upgraded

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One day after he visited the Leonora Market and announced that the facility will undergo a massive redesign to address overcrowding and other woes, President Dr Irfaan Ali on Sunday announced similar plans for the Parika Market on the East Bank of the Essequibo.

Dr. Ali observed firsthand how overcrowding and illegal vending were significantly affecting traffic flow to the Parika Stelling, the main transportation access to Regions Seven and Two.

The President was at the time conducting a walk-about with Prime Minister Mark Phillips, other government ministers and regional officials.

President Dr Irfaan Ali interacts with a vendor at the Parika Market (Photo: Latchman Singh/April 10, 2022)

Dr. Ali said the government will work with the market committee to ensure that vendors occupying the roadway are returned to the legal boundaries of the market.

He said illegal vending, where persons are occupying spots without paying rent, will also be brought to an end.

But first, the government will support the regional administration in upgrading the existing facility and constructing a vendors’ tarmac.

“We will upgrade the market and make it more appealing… and with adequate space, we will move all the vendors,” the Head of State said in comments to press following his tour.

The President said from his interactions with vendors, he got the clear feeling that the mood was one of willingness by the vendors to comply.

President Dr Irfaan Ali interacts with vendors at the Parika Market (Photo: Latchman Singh/April 10, 2022)

But government ministers Oneidge Walrond and Deodat Indar will first lead a two-week consultation with the vendors and other stakeholders before the plan is put into motion.

“We have already started some discussions with the people who have the ballfield, there are two ballfields so we will upgrade one so they can use that one and then we will see if we can extend the market with this additional land.

“We will extend the tarmac, we will look at putting in the walkway canopies and then we will also look at enhancing the facilities, the washroom facilities and everything,” the President said.

Although no timeline was given for the completion of these works, Dr. Ali said once it is finished, all vendors will have to keep within the new boundaries which will see the removal of scores of vendors from spots along the roadside that they currently occupy.

President Dr Irfaan Ali listens to the concerns of a vendor at the Parika Market (Photo: Latchman Singh/April 10, 2022)

“Sometimes we have to make hard decisions, sometimes we have to embrace decisions that will seem hard initially but decisions that will benefit everyone and take away a lot of problems.

“So, we will invest in that and then we will ask everyone to move,” Dr. Ali added.

According to the President, regional officials had complained of not raking in enough revenue to support the operations of the market and as such committed the government’s support.

“They don’t have the capacity to invest in infrastructure.”

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