MORE THAN 30 truckloads of garbage were taken from the streets of downtown Kingston on the weekend as the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) launched its latest initiative to clean-up the market district.
Assisted by the National Solid Waste Management Authority, and the police, the KSAC removed vending material stored in no-vending areas as part of the crackdown, which concentrated on the Parade area, Beckford Street, Heywood Street, and sections of Princess and West streets.
"We went in on Saturday night. We moved quite a bit of garbage and vending paraphernalia to the landfill. In all, we moved more than 30 truckloads of garbage and vending stalls," reported Town Clerk Errol Greene.
He said several illegal electrical connections were observed in locations in downtown Kingston and this was reported to Jamaica Public Service Company.
According to Greene, the KSAC intends to continue the clean-up drive until the situation is at an acceptable level.
Last week, some sidewalk vendors in downtown Kingston expressed disgust with the decision by KSAC to use the police to enforce the no-vending rules.
"You have nothing to give we and you want to move we off the road, which is how we earn a bread to send our children to school," declared one vendor on Beckford Street as he packed up his goods to run from an approaching team of police.
"Me willing to come off the sidewalk, but give me a job. Mayor, you want us off the road then gi we jobs. Simple," declared the man.
He was supported by other vendors who charged that the KSAC was moving them off the streets without offering them an alternative.
"The one little market them fix up (Redemption Arcade) you think that can accommodate the 5,000 of us who are selling on the streets? Before, it fix it used to accommodate 225 vendors now it can accommodate only 150, so what the others must do," said a vendor who identified himself as Boxer.
But this was rejected by commercial services manager at the KSAC, Gary Robotham, who argued that there is sufficient space in downtown arcades and markets for the approximately 2,000 registered vendors.
"You should ask these people selling on the sidewalk if they have registered with the KSAC and have been unable to get a space in the markets and arcades," declared Robotham.
"If they were registered, then they could come to the KSAC and argue that there is a capacity problem and we would have to find a way to address that," added Robotham.
He said the KSAC is adamant that the city must be operated with order and there will be no attempt to prevent the police from enforcing the no-vending rules.