JIS News

The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), in a joint operation with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), will be removing illegal vendors from the Harbour View roundabout in East Kingston next Tuesday (June 21).
Speaking at his monthly press briefing at the KSAC’s headquarters in downtown Kingston, yesterday (June 14), Mayor of Kingston, Desmond McKenzie informed that in addition to the over 20 illegal vendors at the site, the surrounding areas now had a squatter settlement with over 30 families.
The Mayor explained that the squatters were occupying the protected mangrove, located near the roundabout.
He pointed out that the expected operation to remove the vendors would not be a one-day exercise. “It is not a one-off shot, where you move them today and they come back two days after,” the Mayor emphasised.Mr. McKenzie said that the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), which had responsibility for the coastline, would investigate the squatter settlement.
He pointed out that the matter of squatting did not fall under the umbrella of the KSAC, and that the Corporation would meet with NEPA to decide the best approach to the problem.
The Mayor said that the KSAC had met with a number of stakeholders, including the Member of Parliament for the area, Phillip Paulwell, the Police, NEPA, the Public Health Department and the NSWMA to serve notices on the illegal vendors.
He said the Public Health Department has been asked to verify whether persons selling food had the requisite permit to do so.
The Mayor described the roundabout, which is considered the eastern entrance to the capital, as “unsightly and a national disgrace”.
“It cannot continue, it’s a national disgrace. Vending has taken over the area, which was once a park,” he said.
The Mayor pointed out that on weekends, commercial activities in the area created problems for vehicular traffic.
Mr. McKenzie said that plans to make Kingston a tourist destination, and upcoming events, such as the Cricket World Cup 2007, could be affected as a result of the unsightly activities. The Mayor said that the KSAC intended to work with the government to ensure that this section of the city is improved.

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