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M&CC treatment of Kitty Market vendors

first_imgDear Editor,Permit me some space in your letters column to express my profound disappointment and anxiety at the heartless and cruel manner in which the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown has been treating the vendors of the Kitty Market.In the first place, it should be noted that it is not the vendors, nor the citizens of Georgetown, nor Central Government that had left the Kitty Market to go to rot and ruin; but rather, the City Council that did so. The vendors paid their stall rents, and the citizens of Kitty and beyond paid their property rates.It was the Council that chose to waste these monies on luxurious foreign travel, retreats to local resorts etc, rather than on maintaining the market. So the attempt by some municipal officials to cast blame on others, rather than on themselves, is dishonest and is absolute poppycock.The repair job which was touted to take three to five months is still not completed three years on; but, strangely, civil society, the relevant NGOs, and private sector agencies have not come out in support of the small vendors, who are being taken advantage of.Is the completely toothless Guyana Market Vendors Union (GMVU) still awaiting recognition by the Council?Quite shockingly, these small vendors have been made to pay their stall rents every month although the market has been closed for repairs; and they are now being told that they are not guaranteed repossession of the same spaces and/or stalls. This is preposterous!There needs to be a Commission of Inquiry set up to determine not only the reasons for the protracted delay, but whether there was transparency and accountability for the monies spent on the project. Clearly, no proper plan or quantity survey was done prior to the commencement of the project, as the real cost has far outstripped the estimated costs several times over, and continues to climb further.I am disappointed at Central Government for injecting large sums into this project on at least two occasions without demanding that an audit of the expenditure by the Council be done prior.What has happened to the grand plan to have the bottom flat of the reconstructed Kitty Market outfitted with air conditioning units; extractor fans; an automatic switchover generator, to cater for power outages; and installation of refrigeration facilities in the meat and fish section of the market? Was this just another trip into La La Land by the administration of the Council?And what of the new wing that was to be added to the western side of the market to accommodate 100 new applications from vendors?Projects like the Kitty Market can best be described as a black hole: where materials can be bought in the name of the project but diverted elsewhere; where friends and relatives can be recruited to do the plumbing, electrical work, and carpentry and masonry whilst the workers within the Council are not allowed to do these jobs.How could a municipality be taken seriously and be expected to manage, maintain and expand a city under their charge when they lack the administrative, technical and other capabilities to maintain and rehabilitate a single building?Sincerely,Shanta Singhlast_img read more