Executed court order: Vendors removed from outside DEMICO now want new space to operate

Now that the Mayor and City Council has moved to execute a court order for the removal of vendors from around Demico House, Stabroek, the street sellers are now calling on the government to step in and work with them for a better resolution to the situation since the move is affecting their livelihood.

The cleared area outside Demico House

Several vendors are now pleading with central government to assist them with finding a new space to operate, expressing that their livelihoods are on the line.
This newspaper visited the Demico House area to speak with some of the vendors, who are also asking for the executives of Banks DIH Limited to be a part of those talks.
Those vendors who, for years, unlawfully operated outside of Banks DIH’s Demico House, Stabroek, Georgetown, have finally been removed by the Georgetown Mayor and City Council on Sunday, following a court order issued earlier this month.
More than two weeks after the High Court granted orders to remove vendors and their structures from outside Banks DIH’s Demico House, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council initiated the process on Sunday. Leaving the vendors calling on the government to intervene.
However, the court orders, granted by Justice Navindra Singh earlier this month, came in response to an application filed by Banks DIH Limited, the parent company of Demico House. Those orders directed senior City Council officials to clear the pavement and surroundings outside the popular restaurant of vendors and their stands, structures, and belongings. Specifically, they were mandated to remove carts, drays, barrels, boxes, dustbins, tents, palettes, coolers, mobile stalls, and any other movable items obstructing the property.
Banks DIH Limited had claimed in the court action that the vending situation outside its premises adversely affects business operations.
Meanwhile, Melissa David, a mother of three, expressed that she has been vending at the location for some 15 years. She said her livelihood will be greatly impacted as a result of the decision to have vendors removed from the area.
A similar court order was granted in favour of Discount Store on Regent Street, Georgetown. Likewise, in November 2023 the court also granted an order to remove vendors from in front of Muneshwers Ltd, Water Street, Georgetown.
In that case, the applicant has said in its proceedings that the Mayor and City Council have completely disregarded their statutory responsibility and have allowed the proliferation of the encumbering of the pavements and streets around the building.
In December 2021, a High Court judge ordered vendors operating in front of the Shamdas Kirpalani building, Regent Street, Georgetown to be removed by the M&CC. Kirpalani’s case was filed in 2010.
No central Govt involvement
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development has released a statement making it clear that they played no part in the exercise to remove those vendors as was ordered by the court.