The more than 100 vendors who are now plying their trade in the “Parliament View Mall” may soon find themselves once again without a place to sell as the man who holds the power of attorney for the property they are occupying at Lombard and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown, Hareshnarine “Chiney” Sugrim has made it clear he has no intentions of granting the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) any extension to use the land when the initial three months elapse.
The vendors, who were plying their trade outside the Stabroek Market, were removed to facilitate a cleanup of the Stabroek area for the Golden Jubilee of Independence celebrations in May 2016, without an alternative vending place provided and after days of protests, the M&CC was forced to find an alternative location.
But, as the initial three-month period comes to an end, Town Clerk Royston King suggested that there was likely to be a three-month extension.
King had urged the Council to find a new location before November – the new deadline for the vendors to remove from the plot of land.
“We are likely to get an additional three months from the owner of the plot of land south of Parliament Building where they have the vendors who were relocated from the Stabroek Square,” King was quoted as telling a statutory meeting of the Council last month.
However, Sugrim, who holds the Power of Attorney for Paul Daby, the owner of the plot of land, has since made it clear that there were no discussions on any extension and he has no intentions of granting an extension.
“I have not given any extension to anybody. I have not given any permission to authorise this extension,” he told Guyana Times on Sunday evening.Sugrim noted that he allowed the Council to use the land for a three-month period and that is what he will stick to.
“So come the first week in August, they will have to move when the legal agreement ends,” he declared.
Guyana Times was unable to contact King for a comment.
However, when contacted on Sunday, City Mayor Patricia Chase Green said she was unaware of any arrangements made for the vendors, but the full Council was expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss matters relating to vendors.
President David Granger, during an address to the Council last Monday, said his Administration would like to see street vendors, most of whom are poor, be properly accommodated.
Leader of the Opposition and former President, Bharrat Jagdeo had also lambasted the municipality over the way it has been handling the issue of street vending.
He recalled during his tenure as Head of State, his Administration paid over $300 million to Toolsie Persaud to repossess a plot of land on Water Street and gave it to vendors; it is now the Vendors Arcade.
“Our approach was different…we did things in reality. We didn’t do like the President and said accommodate the vendors… he could have told City Hall this a long time ago. Jagdeo added: “He could have said clean up the place, but don’t take away people’s income!”