Govt. signs $57.8M contract to build mall for vendors

by Shirwin Campbell
Guyana Chronicle

July 26, 2003

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The construction of a $57.8M mall is expected to ease the congestion and provided much needed relief at one of the biggest weekend roadside markets in Guyana.

The project, funded by the Government of Guyana through SIMAP, is awarded to Courtney Benn Contracting Services Ltd of 28 ‘B’, New Providence, East Bank Demerara.

A contract for the construction of the New Hydronie Vendors’ Mall was signed yesterday in the boardroom of SIMAP on Camp Street.

Hydronie NDC Chairman Mr. Milton Dookie, stated that on any given Sunday more than 600 vendors are engaged in commercial activities in the process circulating an estimated $5M around Parika Stelling on the East Bank of Essequibo.

The NDC Chairman pointed out that the massive commercial activity is presently disorganized with the road leading up to the Stelling congested, causing traffic jams since that area has to be cordoned off.

The current situation is also responsible for excessive littering, and places an added burden on the garbage disposal system and expense, he added.

Vendors travel from as far as Wakeenam and Leguan, villages along the Essequibo River and Georgetown.

Speaking to members of the media after a contract was signed for the construction of the mall; the Chairman hailed the venture as “A welcomed activity” noting that this will allow the regional authorities to regularize and better monitor the commercial activities at Parika.

He announced that a Management Committee will be appointed to look at the relocation and other logistics involved in the transition from roadway to the new mall.

Mr. Dookie gave the assurance that the mall will be capable of accommodating all the vendors and was optimistic that there will be empty spots, which will be made available for locals desirous of engaging in vending.

The mall will be built on an eight-acre block of land and is located a few feet from the roadway.

The Management Committee will be classified according to type of products on sale and this will serve as a flea market; vendors will not be allowed to store large volumes of goods he explained.

No vending will be allowed outside of the mall when it is constructed, and all permanent structures will be demolished, the Chairman added.

With plans in place to establish Parika as a town, the community needs a face-lift and the environment must be enhanced, he noted.

He announced that the Regional Authorities have already met with vendors to sensitize them about the project and inform them of changes that will occur.

The project is located in Hydronie East Bank, Essequibo Region 03 and will involve
· Clearing

· Grading and filling

· Access Road and asphaltic concrete tarmac

· Drains and culverts

· Security fenced guard hut, sanitary facilities and administration office

· Parking facilities available
Executive Director (acting) SIMAP Nandram Persaud, said that SIMAP will choose the supervisor from a database using the computer’s random selection process. The SIMAP supervisor will be on the site during the construction period and SIMAP engineers will also visit the site periodically.

Manager of Courtney Benn Contracting Services, Darren Nurse, said that the company is honoured to be awarded the project and promised that they will put their best foot forward, complete the project in time and offer quality production.

Work will commence 20 days from the signing of the project.

The project has a contract period of 12 months - eight months, are for construction and four months are for defects and liabilities.

Signatories to the contract included;

Darren Nurse Manager of Courtney Benn Contracting Services and Joel Trotman Senior Engineer; Daniel Joseph Head of Contracting Unit SIMAP; Ramensaught Bisram Regional Vice Chairman Region #3 and Executive Director (acting) SIMAP Nandram Persaud.

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