Cruel to throw out market vendors
THE EDITOR, Sir:
We heard through the news that the 70 vendors in the Constant Spring Market have been given notice to leave at the end of September 2018. These vendors, some of whom have been there for more than 40 years, are frightened at the prospect of losing their livelihood so suddenly. No provision has been made for compensation to them, nor have proper arrangements been made for alternative accommodation.
The authorities have said that the market has to be demolished because of the road-improvement project that is under way.
However, having seen the road-improvement plans, it is clear that only a small part of the main building is needed.
The authorities could, if they wished, actually upgrade the facility after allowing for the road-improvement and allow the vendors to stay. So why are the authorities taking the position that the vendors have to go and then sell the property to the private sector?
Because of the surrounding plaza developments, the business of selling fresh produce in the market has dwindled, and the selling of meat ceased many years ago. The market itself is, therefore, underutilised and other businesses such as tyre, shoe, and lawnmower repair, cook shops, and bars have emerged on the property.
The area has been allowed to fall into disrepair and is an eyesore in an otherwise upper-class area.
While there is no legal obligation on the part of the Government to compensate the vendors for the loss of their livelihood, isn't there a moral obligation for them to do so? On October 1, seventy vendors, their employees, and dependents will have no income and no prospects. This is cruel and the Government needs to do the right thing!