News

KSAC dismantles sidewalk stalls; vendors angry

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, January 25, 2014    

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SEVERAL vendors were left fuming yesterday as the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) began an operation to remove stalls illegally set up on sidewalks across the city.

Alrick Francis, KSAC city inspector, said the operation began at about 5:00 am and saw more than 50 stalls being from Half-Way-Tree and Molynes roads, Washington Boulevard and in Duhaney Park.

"The exercise was the latest in an ongoing operation by KSAC to remove these shops and stalls from sidewalks and to ensure that law and order is maintained," Francis told the Jamaica Observer.

Yesterday, several vendors reacted in anger as workmen from the corporation dismantled their stalls.

"Dem jus' come; don't say nothing to we, and just start mash up di stall dem," said 65-year-old Icilda Patterson.

She was among a large group of vendors who complained that the action of the KSAC had crippled their ability to earn.

"Things and times hard; people nuh have nuh work and trying to make ends meet, and dem come mash down mi stall," fumed Mellisa Palmer.

Seventy-six-year-old Cecil Myers shared similar sentiments.

"Things hard; mi a try to earn and a dis dem do to me," said the senior citizen as he tried to pick up pieces of board left behind from her dismantled stall.

One vendor alleged that she was verbally abused of a KSAC worker.

"When him start mash down mi stall and mi ask him what him doing, him look on mi and tell mi 'Back Road' nah refuse me," said the 65-year-old woman.

'Back Road' is the label for the Port Henderson strip in St Catherine, which is frequented by prostitutes.

Yesterday, the city inspector said he would investigate the allegation.

He encouraged the vendors to visit the KSAC's downtown Kingston office to get advice on how they can regularise their operations.

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