Vendors of the Stabroek Market Wharf will finally be able to resume their trade, as construction of stalls commences for their relocation at the Route 42 Bus Park.
<<<Inew >>> on Monday visited the area where the vendors were being assisted by construction workers to build a wooden structure of the same dimensions. The section allocated for the relocation was cordoned off and each vendor’s space was demarcated.
While speaking with the stall owners, many said that they were working assiduously to finish construction before month end, since the busy Christmas shopping season will commence soon.
“Well, we have like two more weeks till the month end, so that should be good way. Now is the time that everybody hurrying ‘cause not too long they mark off the stand number,” said a vendor, who was positive that all would be completed in a timely fashion.
He expressed that vendors’ income faded when the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) ceased operations at the Stabroek Wharf. For a few months, he managed to sell in the community but it was inadequate.
“Christmas coming so we trying to catch all that we miss for since September time. A lot of money we lose…you couldn’t sell how you used to.”
The wooden stalls are elevated on concrete blocks so that deconstruction would be easy. There is also a concrete section in progress which is expected to house restroom facilities.
The Council had decided at a previous statutory meeting that the vendors would have to construct their own stalls as one would cost approximately $400,000. The area was cordoned off with steel barriers and there is no access to vend. This has since been changed to chain-link fencing.
During their wait before confirmation was given to construct stalls, the vendors anonymously highlighted their concerns about being placed on the breadline as they feared victimisation.
City Hall presented a budget of $23 million, which was used to construct barricades and groundwork. As such, it was determined that the Council could not stand the cost of constructing stalls for some 82 vendors. It was decided that the vendors would be solely responsible for the construction, exclusive of electrical lighting.
This decision was taken after the question was raised as to whether the Council could have taken up the mantle of building the stalls. The Town Clerk, Royston King responded, “We don’t have the money to do it.”
It is mandatory that the eight feet by ten feet structure with a maximum height of 13 feet be constructed with wooden materials and six weeks after completion of the stalls, a sum of $85 per square foot per month will be collected for sanitation and other services.
The Wharf remains on the agenda for rehabilitation, which is slated to last for two years at the cost of some $400 million. During this time, bus parks will remain displaced, even as commuters and drivers complain of petty crimes in the new locations.