However, the gates to the empty lot were padlocked by the owner Hareshnarine ‘Chinee’ Sugrim. He contends that without a formal agreement from City Hall, the gates would remain locked.
Meanwhile, a statement from City Hall said that efforts continue to be made and the aggrieved vendors will be relocated within a few days.
The Town Clerk, Royston King, said that the city has already spoken to the owner of the private land and everything stands “as per agreement.”
The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is currently involved in a cleanup and beautification exercise that has seen the removal of vendors operating within the path of the operation. These persons involved legitimate stallholders and other persons who occupied locations around the market facility. Stallholders were asked to return to their stalls, while other persons were notified of the new location south of the Parliament building.
“We have secured permission from a private business owner to use the land for a specified period to relocate vendors who ply their trade,” King said.
After clashing with the City Council over the way the matter is being handled, protests reached the Ministry of the Presidency.
One woman said, “Is we put Royston King them deh and we ain’t moving….we put them deh and we deserve better than this.”
One vendor, visibly frustrated and on the verge of tears, said, “Where I gun go. I got children fuh mine. I can’t fare (enter prostitution) I too old.”
Another woman, like many others, expressed the view that until the vendors are placed and able to ply their trades, they will have to “come up with new ways to mek a dollar.”
The tensions escalated today as ranks of the City Constabulary continued to seize the stalls belonging to vendors in the Stabroek Market square. The vendors have since been advised to pick up their goods currently being held within the Council’s compound.
Also, the Town Clerk said similar exercises will be replicated at the Bourda, Albouystown and East Ruimveldt Markets soon. He asked vendors there to join in the effort to make Georgetown great again.