Oct 20, 2020 Letters
Saturday is Market Day in Leonora on the West Coast, Demerara and I hope the Minister of Local Government, Mr. Nigel Dharamlall will take the time next Saturday to visit and observe for himself the situation that usually obtains there and will speedily undertake remedial measures to ensure the safety of the citizens and a level playing field for the vendors.
Although there is a long established market, it has been observed that more vendors are beginning to encroach on to the recently refurbished highway that was expanded to accommodate a pedestrian lane
When the vendors set up their stalls or sell directly from their vehicles which they park fully or partially in the pedestrian lane, women and children who are usually laden with their heavy purchases are forced to walk in the path of vehicular traffic. Cyclists are also endangered by this practice.
Given the fact that this market is located at a deep turn in the highway, this rapid increase in vending on the side of the highway and the blocking of the access roads leading to the market cause unnecessary congestion for vehicles and hardship for people exiting the market, many of whom are elderly folk. What is most annoying is that whilst these itinerant vendors are crowding the highway and access roads, the market itself is a virtual ghost town where the ever dwindling number of regular vendors are required to pay the NDC every week. Many vendors occupy both sides of the single small access bridge leaving a very narrow passage way for the customers. The authorities seem blissfully unaware of the extreme danger to which the public is being exposed during this deadly pandemic because they have to traverse this cramped and chaotic area.
Traffic ranks are usually present and do a commendable job in monitoring the traffic and assisting persons to cross the highway but I have not noticed any attempt by them to prevent the blockage of the market access roads and pedestrian lane on the highway by vendors.
A. Kamal Hassan
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