Parliament View Mall: Contract up, land owner wants vendors off, gives M&CC deadline

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Alternatives were suggested since 2016 -Chairman of Market Committee

By Ramona Luthi

Businessman and owner of the land which currently houses the Parliament View Mall at Hadfield and Lombard streets– that was erected by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) for displaced vendors- wants his premises vacated as he says that the verbal agreement to extend the vendors stay up to the December 31 2016, has expired.

The businessman, Hareshnarine “Chiney” Sugrim is contending that if the vendors are not relocated by the end of this week, he intends to take action.

Speaking to Inews earlier today, Sugrim highlighted that the first agreement with the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) was that the vendors- who were removed from the Stabroek Market Square- be allowed to ply their trade on the plot of land until August of 2016, giving the M&CC enough time to find a permanent location for them [vendors].

However, by August, a solution had not yet been arrived at, and as such, Sugrim stated that he had a verbal agreement with the Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green that he would allow the vendors to stay no later than December 31,2016.

“We give them further stay without documentation, a verbal agreement, until December 31. Time gone, they supposed to move!” Sugrim asserted.

According to the businessman, the M&CC has been utilizing his plot of land, now known as the Parliament View Mall, and have not had “to pay a dime.”

He stated that he has had plans for his land, for a while now, but put them off to facilitate the vendors.

His plans, he said, includes the construction of a seven storey parking lot with a food court on the ground floor. “We want to build a seven storey car park right there. They [M&CC] hambugging the development!”

Parliament View Mall during its early stages of occupancy

The premises once housed a Royale Castle food outlet before it was destroyed by fire.

Sugrim further disclosed that he spoke to Chase-Green some days ago, and says she informed him that arrangements are being made to remove the vendors.

However, the irate man told Inews that if the vendors are not removed by the end of this week, he intends to begin construction even with the merchants there.

Attempts to solicit responses from the vendors located at Parliament View Mall was met with hostility as the vendors hurled expletives as attempts were made to interact with them.

As Guyana’s Jubilee Anniversary approached last year, the M&CC initiated a “clean up” campaign around the Stabroek Market Square. This included removing vendors from their locations as well as many mini-buses from their parking lots.

After being out of places to ply their trade, and with the vendors decrying the move to relocate, an agreement was made with Sugrim for the M&CC to use his plot of land to allow the vendors to ply their trade until the they [M&CC] could select a permanent location for them.

However, Chairman of the Market Committee and future Deputy Mayor, Lionel Jaikarran told Inews earlier this week that three areas were suggested to the M&CC during the late October- early November period of last year, and since then no decision has been made as to which location was selected for the permanent placement of the vendors.

The locations suggested were “the old Ferry Stelling, near the Stabroek Market area,” “Stelling View Mall, known as Donkey City” and “the parking lot of the Social Protection Ministry.”

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