Merriman’s Mall vendors, Constabulary at odds over stipulations

Guyana Chronicle
March 30, 2003

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APPARENTLY changed regulations for selling on Merriman’s Mall in Georgetown caused vendors and City Constabulary officers to be at odds on Wednesday.

As a result, some goods were seized and fines imposed by municipal revenue collectors amidst charges of harassment by sellers.

The issues that sparked controversy Wednesday were painting of stalls, when business can commence and cleaning of the concreted area between Orange Walk and Cummings Street.

Some disgruntled hucksters said they have complied with instructions from City Hall but are still being harassed.

In obvious confusion that existed when the Chronicle visited, produce was removed from unpainted stall allocations and heaped in the Cummings Street and North Road corner.

Vending was also prevented until 11.30 am on Wednesday and sales on Thursdays and Saturdays must also stop at 5 pm, the time when the hagglers say is a peak purchasing period for public servants and housewives who usually continue to buy until 8 pm.

Motor vehicles which transported fruits and vegetables from Parika, East Bank Essequibo; Cove and John, East Coast Demerara, Canals Polder, West Bank Demerara and other rural locations had to wait for some three hours before unloading their cargo Wednesday.

One driver said he started out since 3 am and some of what he and others off-loaded in the wee hours of the morning and left on the roadside covered with tarpaulin was confiscated by the Constabulary personnel and only released on the payment of $2,000 per bag.

The complaining vendors also said they clean the places they occupy every night but drug addicts and other loiterers are responsible for the subsequent untidiness.

Wednesday attempts to get a response from the Public Relations Department at City Hall, about the situation at the place where some 100 people sell, proved futile.

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