Vendors who operate in Bourda Street, Georgetown were caught off guard on Thursday afternoon when a demolition crew dispatched by the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) moved to dismantle their stalls. And the action continued today with some of the stallholders bemoaning the fact that their articles had been removed from the stalls and placed on the streets.
According to the vendors, they were given no warning by the municipality, and therefore had no chance to voluntarily stop their operations, which according to them represent their only means of getting an income.
And even though vendors Winston Rover and Abiola Nelson presented a letter purportedly signed by Deputy Mayor Robert Williams stating that he (Williams) had no objection in granting permission for the duo to occupy and build Stall No. Four, located at Bourda Street, that did not prevent their stall from being dismantled.
The two claimed that they had operated their vending business in the street for almost three years, and that they find the sudden act as a violation of their rights to obtain a lawful livelihood.
Other vendors, who also claimed to have got permission to operate in the Street, said that they were there for over a year. They stated their displeasure even as the expressed in various ways that council officials have no respect for them as human beings.
And as if the destruction of the stalls was not enough, the demolition crew also proceeded to move the dismantled pieces to a waiting M&CC truck with the intent of taking the materials away.
Although they were further incensed by the situation, the vendors were skilfully kept away by officers of the City Constabulary, who also helped to keep a converging crowd at bay.
But according to a senior official of the council, the removal of the vendors was inevitable, since they have been operating there illegally.
This newspaper was informed that the action was engaged by the Engineer Department of the municipality.
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