Site not ready for Water Street vendors

Guyana Chronicle
September 1, 2001

WATER Street vendors, who were optimistic about plying their trade from a new site as of today, September 1, as was projected by the Government, will have to wait a bit longer.

Up until yesterday, no work had started on the Toolsie Persaud Limited (TPL) plot of land on Water Street, which the Government had identified for the purpose.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, had stated that today’s deadline for vendors to be off the pavement, would still have been achieved, despite the apparent delays in the project.

He had said, “Government has made it abundantly clear that the Water street vendors will be relocated to the site in Water Street.”

Also, that the acquisition of the property as the relocation site for the Water Street vendors, “is one solution which the Government is not going to give up too easily on”.

Government and TPL are still to agree on an acceptable price for the land, and Dr Luncheon in an earlier comment had said because of the delay in acquisition, there would be an increased cost in making the place suitable for vending purposes.

Because of the short time frame, those who were to do the job, which entails grading the area and providing a well-surfaced tarmac with drainage, water supply and other amenities, would have had to work double shifts in order to meet today’s deadline.

The HPS had refuted claims that the administration is seeking to use “illegal and improper methods” by which to acquire the property for public purposes.

Government, he had reiterated is “fairly resolute” that the TPL property on Water Street will be the site of the new Vendor’s Arcade.

Luncheon had vowed that the issues, which are causing the delay, would have to be resolved, as it is not in the interest of the Government to have the process delayed unnecessarily.

He said that while the expectation of the owners is to get as much (money) as possible, the Government is aware of the initial cost of the property, what was done with it, and what could have been done.

Such information, according to him, is being used in the Government’s determination of an acquisition cost, which it has difficulty in getting the owners to accept.

Contacted yesterday, Mayor Hamilton Green said he has had no directive and would have had to consult with the Government regarding what is going on with the Court Order.