Vendors illegally occupying the waterfront area in Mabaruma, Region One are refusing to relocate, Mayor Chris Phang told the Newsroom on Monday.
According to the Mayor, refusing the vendors to relocate is stymieing development work in the Town. There is slate for the waterfront area, where about 40 vendors currently live for development – car park and boardwalk.
The vendors staged a protest at the weekend after a final warning letter was issued for them to remove it from the area. The Mayor stated that if they do not relocate, the Council will take legal action.
The letter seen in the Newsroom reads: “As mentioned in the previous letter where it was stated that the Council will take the necessary legal action against and use all the Authority vested in the Mayor and Town Council under Chapter 28:01 to get your structure illegal. “Demolished” if you fail to occupy your stall within three days of receiving this notice. ”
The Newsroom understands that the Council has built a safe location for the vendors to relocate and issued a number of notices but they still refuse to move. The vendors have claimed that due to the Christmas and New Year holidays they were unable to build their stalls in the new location and have also demanded that the front of the tarmac be fixed and that bathroom facilities and lighting be installed .
Mayor Phang explained that bathroom facilities have since been installed and the Council is currently working to repair the tarmac. In addition, the Council will provide security to the vendors. He further stated that the area where they illegally occupy has no security or bathroom facilities.
“… They came there and built tents and stalls and so on. They have to sleep in tents etc. just to secure their goods but we promise them once they enter the protected and fenced tarmac and there is he had gates, we would install security too and they refused.
“These vendors don’t look like they want to move. They claim they need this and that they need it but nobody goes to their stalls to build anything, ”explained the Mayor.