Nagra Plunkett, Assignment Coordinator
Mayor of Montego Bay Glendon Harris says a major zero-tolerance campaign to reduce illegal vending, traffic congestion and public health infractions in and around the western city will begin on September 1.
"Lawlessness should not be allowed to thrive, as the breach of regulations is negatively impacting successes gained throughout the parish and within the city of Montego Bay," Harris said in a release yesterday.
"The level of illegal vending around the city needs to be contained ... it is working against developments we have worked hard for, such as the traffic management system and improvements done at the Charles Gordon Market."
The decision follows a special meeting - convened at the request of the police - of the St James Parish Council. The meeting was also attended by representatives from the St James Public Health Department and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
According to Harris, St James Street, Barnett Street, Bevin Avenue and Fustic Road will be specifically targeted for anti-vending operations.
"Come September, the council, the St James police, the St James Public Health Department, the National Solid Waste Management Authority and the Transport Authority will be combining efforts to deter the act of illegal vending, and put a stop to the proliferation of illegal taxis and roadside cook-shops and garages that continue to function outside of the regulations that guide business operations," the mayor stressed.
During last month's regular meeting of the council, NSWMA regional operations manager, Eifert Daley, called for the municipal authority to assist his agency to address the issue of sanitation in downtown Montego Bay.
Daley contended that the area was operating on a 24-hour basis and, from observations, scores of dry goods and food vendors could be seen plying their wares along St James Street and the lower section of Barnett Street at any given time.
"Our biggest headache is Montego Bay town centre. We spend too much time in there cleaning. We have a night shift that goes in and cleans until 2 a.m. and by 5 a.m. we are getting calls that it is dirty," said a seemingly frustrated Daley.
"The NSWMA and the council must cooperate and start prosecuting those who are littering the town."