Council dismantles Stelling View Market
September 19, 2002
Half of the structures at the Stelling View Market have now been dismantled by the City Engineers Department, but up to now the evicted vendors do not know where they will be placed.
The Mayor and City Council says the market was condemned by the Public Health Department some two years ago and that it is a health hazard which poses a threat to life and limb.
But the vendors have complained to this newspaper that they were the ones who built the stalls and that since the market was established in 1991 no repairs were done to the structures, neither was there any maintenance work done on the immediate surroundings. Thick bushes are hanging on the marketís dilapidated fence and the concrete floor shows signs of wear and tear.
Yesterday when Stabroek News revisited the site, all of the stalls at the back of the market had already been dismantled and workers had also gone a far way in cleaning up the surroundings. There was a pile of wood from the dismantled stalls heaped in a corner while the dust and other debris were gathered in another corner to be burnt. However, about three vendors whose stalls the council had not yet touched were still selling. In addition, at the entrance of the market two craft vendors were still displaying their handiwork and they both have expressed their unwillingness to remove, saying they have been doing good business. A few of the vendors who are not active sellers congregated outside lamenting their plight. But a source at the market said most of the vendors whose stalls were broken down no longer sell there.
On September 6, notices were served to vendors for them to remove their goods concealed in stalls at the market and the following day the dismantling exercise was to begin. But it only got underway recently.
No other location has been identified for the vendors some of who said that while many of their colleagues had abandoned their stalls those who remained were doing reasonable business. A special committee was set up immediately after the M&CC announced its intention to dismantle the market. This will decide on what economic, social and cultural uses can be made of the area. Deputy Mayor, Robert Williams, told this newspaper yesterday that the committee met yesterday and several recommendations were put forward; these would be disclosed at next Mondayís statutory council meeting. The Stelling View Market was established with the aim of relocating street vendors, but many strongly resisted moving there, claiming that it was too far off the beaten track.