The delayed Charity market road project in Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam) finally got underway Friday night but some market vendors whose structures were removed are unhappy.
Acting overseer of Charity/Urasara Neighborhood Democratic Council (NDC) Rameez Baksh said that no stalls were destroyed at the Charity market when clearing works started.
He, however, noted that some extensions to the stalls were removed.
The Ministry of Public Works, then the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, awarded a contract for this road in 2018 but the project has been continuously stalled.
“Every year the money going back and the road getting worst, we decided from a council level to ensure that it’s done in 2023, and this will help prevent flooding in the market area since the current sea defence structure can undermine anytime,” Baksh said.
So, on Friday evening, the council in collaboration with police officers, went through the area and removed some extensions built onto some of the market stalls.
“No stall was broken, we keep issuing notices informing stall owners not to make any additional extensions since we had to start a project, but they keep ignoring (it).
“We had to remove the adjustment to suit the width to commence the project” Baksh said in response to a video that surfaced on social media from a vendor.
That vendor claimed her stall was badly damaged. She also claimed that she was not formally informed that there clearing works would take place.
“I would like to see the file with the written notification that they were supposed to send out.
“… they break this stall and they leff this structure- a big structure on the road side- and this one they bruk,” the disgruntled market vendor said on Friday.
Baksh, however, said that written and verbal notices were given since 2018, with the last one issued in 2022 informing vendors of the intended works this year. He also contended that about 85 per cent of stall owners co-operated with the orders given through the notices.
“We went and verbally talk to the owners, we told them we need to start the project and if the machines touch the stalls then it will break it so we had advised for them not to do additional extensions and they ignored,” Baksh said.
He said that stall owners were also given the option to use the market tarmac to vend especially, and most of them refused.
“We want to keep the Charity surroundings clean and avoid flooding (but) we can only do this with co-operation. We offered vendors to go to the tarmac because we don’t want anyone to sell when machinery at work and we don’t want anyone get injured during the project” Baksh said.
He is therefore calling on vendors to co-operate so that the sea defence project and road work can commence.