Proposals tabled to ease city vendors' plight

Guyana Chronicle
October 3, 2000

PRIME Minister Sam Hinds has come up with proposals he feels might help ease the plight now faced by vendors removed by court order from Regent Street, Georgetown.

These include converting the old John Ford car park at Church and East Streets into a sort of vendor's arcade and preparing empty lots for vending.

Mr Hinds, who along with Home Affairs Minister, Mr Ronald Gajraj met a vendor delegation Saturday night after attending a function at City Hall and again yesterday morning at his offices, has also proposed that the displaced street hucksters and other interested parties consider:

** levelling and temporary use and arrangement of empty lots for off-the-road vending, parking and play areas;

** combining mini-bus parking and vending;

** using Parade Ground as a terminus for East Coast, Berbice and around-the-town mini-buses and

** using the St Phillip's Green as a terminus for Mahdia, Linden, East Bank West Coast Demerara and around-the-town mini-buses.

In a statement, the Prime Minister said he has "found directly and indirectly sympathetic support in varying degrees for the above proposals" with several persons including Mr Manzoor Nadir, Mr Stanley Ming and Deputy Mayor, Mr Robert Williams.

It is further envisaged that these persons would form the core of a working group to immediately consider and implement these plans, he said.

Mr Hinds said that after meeting the vendors Saturday he had sought the opinion of a number of other citizens and that the overwhelming majority, "whilst not being unmindful of the vendors' immediate plight and the fact that they are but only seeking to make an honest living", have agreed that the clearing of streets was long overdue.

"Store owners and their employees, too, need to make a living. There are strong feelings for a return to law and order in the streets and in Guyana generally", he said in the statement.

"The Judge has ruled; the City Council has moved; and we all are committed to living within the law. The judgement of the majority of your fellow citizens is that much patience and understanding have been exercised on behalf of vendors and it is time to move on to new arrangements", he said.

He further urged that vendors be appreciative of the past accommodation provided to vend along the main streets and to now look to the quick working out of new practical arrangements.

According to the statement, he "is hopeful that the understanding and goodwill of fellow citizens and past customers would provide the tolerance and patience to try new arrangements".

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