With its parking meter controversy still very much on the front burner of the urban agenda, City Hall remains tight-lipped over reports that the more than 150 vendors occupying privately-owned property at the corner of Hadfield and Lombard streets after being removed from the Stabroek Market Square, are probably on the threshold of another eviction.
A source close to the municipality has told this newspaper that a verbal agreement exists for occupancy up to the end of August. As yet, there has been no official word from City Hall.
However, the council, according to the source, is pursuing two possible options for alternative vending space, the first being the creation of a double-decker facility in the open-air space housing the Stabroek Market Bazaar at the northern extreme of the market. The second alternative, this newspaper has been informed, is to acquire other spaces currently vacant and available in the city that are considered suitable for vending. These options, this newspaper understands, are currently being examined as a matter of importance by the council, though there is uncertainty as to whether either of those options can be pursued to finality before the August deadline expires. City Hall, presumably, will consider itself under some degree of pressure following President David Granger’s insistence during his recent address at City Hall that adequate and suitable accommodation be found for the vendors removed from the Stabroek Square.
Stabroek Business has learnt that the proposed Stabroek Bazaar had been mooted in previous years and the source could not say whether City Hall was currently financially in a position to fund the double decker project or whether it might approach central government for funding.
The source conceded that both central government and City Hall would be acutely aware of the “politics” of the situation and that might add a further element of urgency to the search for a solution to the vendors’ plight.
Stabroek Business, meanwhile, has learnt that a third option might be to attempt to accommodate at least some of the vendors in Kitty Market, alongside its original occupants. Repairs to the facility which had been reduced to the status of an urban eyesore began in February and Stabroek Business understands that while full completion may still be several months away some of the original occupants of the market will occupy the completed sections in a matter of weeks.