Govt moves closer to acquiring Toolsie Persaud Limited site
Stabroek News
October 26, 2001

The acquisition of the Water street site owned by Toolsie Persaud Ltd (TPL) is going ahead despite the company's move to the High Court to stay the government's hand, according to Cabinet Secretary, Dr Roger Luncheon.
Government has moved to acquire the TPL site, where it will relocate the Water street vendors who the court had ordered the City Council to remove by August 31.
Speaking with reporters at Wednesday's post-Cabinet briefing, Luncheon said that the relevant orders had been gazetted and all that was left now was for legislation approving the $100 million, government officials said the site was worth, to be passed by the National Assembly. TPL had the land valued at more than $400 million and its move to the court is to prevent the government from moving onto the site, among other things.
At a press briefing earlier this month, Luncheon had said that the move to the court would have delayed the process, but on Wednesday he said that this was not now the case.
Attorney General, Doodnauth Singh SC, explained that at the court hearing on Monday, the government was given 21 days to file its affidavit in reply and the case was adjourned to December 3.
Meanwhile, the City Council is moving to comply with the order of the court to remove the vendors from Water Street. Mayor Hamilton Green told Stabroek News yesterday that he was aware of the recent developments and would seek to raise the issue with President Bharrat Jagdeo on his return from Cuba as the council had to respect the order of the court.
He disclosed that before leaving on a recent trip to the United States, he had given instructions to Town Clerk, Beulah Williams, to send out questionnaires to the vendors to ascertain the size of the space they now occupied and other details. This information, he said, would allow the council, when it had to address the issue, to do so in a constructive manner.
The government moved to acquire the TPL site after it claimed the company reneged on an agreement to lease the site. It also accused the company of inflating the value of the site during negotiations for the lease.