— Mayor say Council needs organised market area conducive to vendingScores of vendors plying their trade along the Anna Regina road shoulders in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are now without a means to earn a living due to the ‘careless and senseless’ act of the Anna Regina Town Council.Vendor Sattie NarineStalls dismantled by the CouncilAffected vendorsMany persons, especially single parents, are now clueless where they should vend or what they should do as a means of survival.The vendors’ stalls were dismantled by a team from the Anna Regina Town Council on Wednesday morning and most of their materials are presently impounded; the vendors are required to pay a fee of $2000 to collect the items impounded by the Council.Those affected – included fruit, vegetable, fish and clothing vendors – had erected temporary make-shift stalls that used tarpaulin for shelter. In the eyes of the Council; however, those stalls were permanent and as such all were dismantled, rendering the vendors jobless.Among those severely affected are Sattie Narine, a single mother from Capoey village; and Krishna Narine, a father of six from Somerset. Their stalls were completely destroyed on Thursday by the Council.The vendors related that when they visited the market area on Thursday, they discovered that there were no tables, chairs or anything on the area where they usually vend. Added to that, intense rain also affected others from vending since the Council confiscated many of their sheds from the stalls.Last Wednesday, Narine’s stall was dismantled by the team and ever since she has not been earning a living. Although several reports were made to the Minister of Communities and the Anna Regina Town Council, nothing has been done.Narine had explained earlier that her stall cost $300,000 to construct and it was not a permanent one. She however said that the Council on Thursday completely dismantled the structure, damaging her tables and carrying away her chairs. As such, she could not earn money.She is now unemployed and is losing thousands of dollars daily. The single mother labelled the Council’s act is “discriminatory” and called for immediate intervention from higher authorities.Krishna Narine who vends in close proximity explained that he too felt discriminated against. He discovered his stalls and some structures missing when he visited the market area on Thursday morning. He said what the Council is doing is very “unfair” at a time when the region’s economy is struggling. Narine explained that he has been vending for almost 28 years and has never faced such injustice. He is also out of business and is currently incurring additional expenses due to the exercise conducted by the Council. He is now forced to remain home since he cannot vend.Other vendors have also vented their disgust. They have opined that the coalition Government is taking bread out of their mouths, saying “this is what we do for a living, there is not space for us to sell, they want to make Guyana clean so how are we going to provide for our families? Who will give us money and pay our bill? Selling is we living.”Region Two’s Regional Executive Officer, Rupert Hopkinson, has commenced planting palm trees along the road shoulders. Palm trees along with permanent fences are now seen along the road side instead of vendors.Meanwhile, the Anna Regina Town Council has come in for much criticism since the entire situation commenced. The Councillors had decided to have all vendors vend inside the market since, according to them, there is enough space.The Mayor of the Town, Rabindranauth Mohan, explained that while the Council is not against vending, there must be some sort of decency and order. Mohan said that if one should drive through Anna Regina they would notice all shapes and sizes of stalls and this, he said, is not sending a good message about the Town.He said too that the Council is calling for is a well-organised market area conducive to vending. He explained that currently, there are vendors occupying more than 20 feet of space and only paying a fee of G$400.The mayor further noted that what the Council wishes to see is vendors paying a fee based on the space that is occupied.When asked if there will be any consideration for vendors, Mohan said it was the Council’s decision and permanent structures erected on the road shoulders are illegal.