Nov 10, 2016 News
The continued presence of vendors at the Charity shorefront is of concern to Manager of the A&S Complex, Ryan Gomes. The business is a subsidiary of Adamantium Holdings Inc. owned by businessman Alfro Alphonso.
According to the manager, on October 19, last, efforts were made to remove the vendors but they have since returned, exhibiting total disregard for law and order.
Gomes said that vending at the shorefront is forbidden by law and he is dissatisfied with the efforts of the Regional Democratic Council to have the vendors moved.
He said that the RDC is aware that the vendors should be moved. The body was actually written to by Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson to halt the activity.
This publication was shown an emailed letter supplied by Gomes which showed the Minister addressing the Region Two chairman, Devanand Ramdatt.
Patterson in his correspondence explained that the occupation of sea defence structures for whatever reason is illegal. He said, “These defences serve a very important function, and protect residents of your region from the threats of flooding and other dangers.”
He said that his ministry will not condone future usage of the sea defence for vending activities. The letter is dated October 25, 2016.
According to Ryan Gomes, since being served with the letter, nothing has been done by the region to remove the vendors who congregate at the shorefront in droves especially on Mondays.
The manager had made contact with this newspaper on a previous occasion with the said complaint. At that time he said that security guards working for the business were asked to clear the area west of the complex, which is the shorefront.
He said that the decision was made since the presence of the vendors created a great hindrance to the business, its customers and residents of the area. According to Gomes the complex houses a Citizens Bank outlet and as a result persons who wish to visit the bank are prevented from freely entering and leaving the building.
Additionally, residents who arrive at the area are prevented from using the special sidewalk which was built on the river defence by the company. Gomes said that the company has invested a lot to enhance the area and the sidewalk was one of those features.
He said that this was done for the comfort of the residents so that when they disembark the boats, they have a safe infrastructure to reach the mainland instead of walking in the mud. However, Gomes said that the vendors have sought to encroach on the sidewalk.
Gomes said that when the security guards tried to remove the vendors, The Regional chairman, the Regional Vice-Chairman, a member of the Sea Defence Board and the chairperson of the Neighbourhood Democratic Council came on the scene.
The Regional Chairman told Kaieteur News that the RDC’s position on the matter is very clear. According to Ramdatt, on the day in question he received notification that the security guards from the company were bullying vendors off the sidewalk and shorefront.
He said that he immediately made his way down to the area and subsequently had a meeting with representatives of the business along with the RDC Vice-Chairman, a member of the Sea Defence Board and three persons representing the vendors.
According to Ramdatt the issue needs to be addressed in a fair and transparent manner whereby all stakeholders can have their interests addressed.
Speaking with Gomes yesterday, this publication was made to understand that the company is not trying to fight with the vendors but simply wants the law upheld. Gomes said that his company provides great economic benefits to the entire Essequibo coast.
He said that the spinoffs from the company directly and indirectly benefit farmers in the region. Gomes said that the company generates over a billion dollars a year and is therefore an asset to the region especially with the many investments it has made.
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