Dec 13, 2008 News
Sustained showers over the past week have left the Bourda Green area inundated, and vendors have blasted City Hall for the sub-standard infrastructure in which they are forced to operate.The vendors have also pointed to several inconsistencies in the market that they feel can destroy their businesses, and they are calling on City Hall to act now, lest they be forced on the breadline.
Bourda Green yesterday looked like a ghost town. Many shoppers opted to make their purchases from vendors on the periphery, because large sections of the Green were under water. The vendors, especially those that peddle perishable goods, complained of losing vast sums of money after they were forced to dump spoilt produce.
Roopdeo Umrao has been vending in the market for close to thirty years. He operates a grocer’s stall in the heart of the Bourda Green.
He said that the conditions under which he works are deplorable, and at the end of the day, the sales are so negligible that he is seriously considering staying at home until the situation improves. He attributed the adverse conditions to poor drainage and an insensitive City Council.
“Every year, we are met by these unacceptable conditions,” he raved. Umrao said that the situation is no different from last year around this time. “Last year was the same thing — water high, high up to yuh neck. It look like we gon have to face it yet another year,” he lamented.
Another vendor, who identified himself as Omesh, was just as frustrated as Umrao. He said that the situation is now unbearable and he is contemplating his next move. He said, also, that sales have plummeted drastically because of the heavy rainfall, and the market is in a messy state.
He said that the poor drainage system was responsible for the flooded state of the market.
The vendors said that they realized that by building the entrances a little higher, the engineers could stem the heavy inflow of water. To this end, they approached Deputy Clerk of Markets, Errol Brisport, with the idea.
He subsequently promised to raise the matter with the City Engineer. “Up to now, we ain’t hear a single word,” the vendors ranted.
Clerk of Markets, Mr Schulder Griffith, said that while he is concerned with the state of affairs in the markets, he remains powerless to do anything about it, since such matters fall outside of his purview. Mr Griffith expressed concern at the state of affairs.
“I am concerned at the state of all of the municipal markets after just one night of rain,” he said. “It pains me to see the conditions under which the vendors have to operate. I would be happy to see this situation rectified as soon as possible.”
Some vendors even contemplated moving out of the Bourda Green and occupying the roadways around the market.
The vendors also pointed to the unfair practices of the wholesale vendors. They said that these vendors are allowed to park their trucks on the roadway up to a certain time to sell their goods.
They said that, instead of leaving after the stipulated time, the wholesale vendors continue to sell their produce at the very wholesale prices to consumers seeking retail products.
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