M&CC to remove more illegal vendors from business premises in GT

…Public Works Ministry has been delinquent – VP

…says vendors have valid points

The Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) will soon be issuing eviction notices to more illegal vendors, asking them to vacate from pavements and streets surrounding various business premises.
During a telephone interview with Guyana Times, Town Clerk Candace Nelson revealed that five establishments in Georgetown have already requested the Council have vendors and encumbrances removed from pavements and streets surrounding their premises.
Among them are Continental Agencies Limited, Camex Restaurants Incorporated, Popeyes Water Street location and Torginol Paints Incorporated.
Nelson explained that while it was unknown how many vendors will be affected, the City Engineers Department is working assiduously to resolve this ongoing issue.
She explained that the municipality was in discussion with these businesses to negotiate a timeline for eviction.
The fifth establishment in question is the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).
Despite previous warnings, vendors who ply their trade outside the hospital have failed to remove.
The GPHC said it was prepared to institute legal proceedings if the Council failed to ensure the vendors were removed.
“When persons (businesses) write ,they don’t give us a time frame which means immediately. What I try to do in some cases or whenever possible, I try to write back these attorneys and ask for some time so that the vendors can sell their produce and then we remove,” the Town Clerk said.
Meanwhile, City Mayor Alfred Mentore has since acknowledged the challenges with illegal vending in the city.
He said City Hall has to devise a better plan to deal with the situation.
“We have some short-term plans on how we will be able to use our streets. We had the parking meter and with those parking meters we could have used our roads, so we have to work with those bylaws to figure out how we could be able to allow our vendors to go and come and use the streets accordingly,” Mentore shared.
Only recently, the Council removed vendors outside Demico House in the Stabroek Market area.
Specifically, it was mandated to remove carts, drays, barrels, boxes, dustbins, tents, pallets, coolers, mobile stalls, and any other movable items obstructing the property.
This was done in keeping with a court order.
Similar court orders were granted in favour of Discount Store on Regent Street, Georgetown, Muneshwer’s Ltd on Water Street, and Shamdas Kirpalani located on Regent Street, Georgetown.

More proactive
The Public Works Ministry needs to be more proactive in addressing the construction of illegal structures on the Government’s reserves, according to Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo. He was at the time speaking at his weekly press conference on Thursday.
Several vendors along the Kingston Seawall were recently asked to remove their permanent structures leading to confrontations. According to the Vice President, the vendors claimed they were not told of the implications of their structures while building.
“The Ministry of Public Works has been delinquent,” he said, noting that the vendors’ points were valid.
He noted that the Administration was not against vending as a means of earning an income; however, this must not be done in a way that negatively affects future development. “Ultimately, the seawall has to be developed into a boardwalk for everyone… they can vend in a manner that doesn’t disrupt other people or their businesses, that they keep the place clean and the structures are mobile,” he told reporters on Thursday.
The Vice President further referred to billboards and structures being erected along the roadways without permission which are not addressed in a timely manner.
“A man just goes and puta up a big sign by the highway and they have no permission whatsoever, they block the highway, they change the aesthetics of the place and then the Ministry will see the sign going up and then weeks later, start going to say you don’t have permission, so take it down, so we end up in conflict with people,” Jagdeo pointed out.
Currently, the politician said there were many persons who have defied guidelines along the East Bank corridor by building entrances from the Heroes Highway and this can in the future impede the free flow of traffic.
Any business looking to build a structure or erect a sign on public land or property must seek permission from the Public Works Ministry to avoid future conflicts.