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Tim Kee upset during PoS market tour: Refurbishment will be costly

Monday, July 7, 2014
Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee, left, and acting Port-of-Spain market administrator Usha Maharaj chat with vendor Mohan during a tour of the market yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR

Port-of-Spain mayor Raymond Tim Kee says it will take millions to refurbish the city’s market. He made the comment yesterday following a tour of the facility to get a first-hand look at some of the complaints he has long been hearing from vendors and the public. Tim Kee was greeted with rubbish thrown carelessly outside a dumpster, a bad stench and a plethora of complaints from vendors as he walked onto the compound.



Asked if he thought one million dollars would be enough to rectify the problems at the market, Tim Kee said, “That’s not enough, we need a lot more than that. A million dollars is not much money now. “I can’t hazard a guess, I am not in the quantity surveying business, neither am I an engineer. What I do know is that other infrastructural work has to be done and infrastructure is costly.”


As though partly blaming the vendors for the condition of the market after the tour, Tim Kee said vendors are required to have bins next to their stall but don’t. “They (the vendors) seem to be arguing that the state has a responsibility of providing bins. And that is true but not for them, (the vendors) it is for the customer. “They ought to have a bin to deposit their stuff when it’s rotted or spoilt. What they have been doing is just dropping it next to their stall on the ground.”  


Describing what he saw, Tim Kee said, “Untidiness, uncleanliness and shabby conditions. It is not the first time I have come here.” 



Stakeholder meeting
Disappointed but determined to turn around the problem, he said he planned on meeting stakeholders, among them the police, litter wardens, City Corporation employees, engineers and health inspectors, on Wednesday. He added that the stakeholders would have to prepare a situational analysis to determine how the issues can be corrected. 



Highly critical of the workers under the Port-of-Spain City Corporation, he said those charged with the responsibility of taking care of the market had not done a good job. The riot act may have to be read to some workers, he predicted. “That’s what gets me angry. You are being paid to do a job, at least do something. “Nobody could tell me that they have been walking around and not seeing things that need attention. I am not in the mood for excuses or inclinations,” Tim Kee said.


He also did not rule out using Cepep workers to help in the rehabilitation process. Asked whether he thought politics had affected the upkeep of the market, he said, “I don’t want to venture there. I don’t know if it is politics as much as it is our people.”


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