Work appears to have been halted on the site earmarked for a new multi-million dollar Fairchild Street Public Market complex in the City.
When contacted today, Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Transport and Works, Frank Thornhill, could provide no answers for the lack of progress on the project.
“All I can say is that work is ongoing,” declared Thornhill.
Pressed to be more specific in light of the fact that no work was actually being done, the chief technical officer declined to give details. However, he promised to visit the market site this weekend with a view to seeing what further cleaning of the surroundings was required.
Nearly four months after workmen from the Ministry moved in and cleared the dangerous asbestos roof from the old condemned market, the unsightly shell that was left behind, continues to be an eyesore in the heart of the capital.
In addition, garbage was piling up around the property and bush had been growing, creating a home for dengue fever carrying mosquitoes and rats, which spread leptospirosis.
Apart from a welcomed clean up of the surroundings by ministry personnel last weekend, no progress has been made on project. The removal of the asbestos was designed to make way for the demolition of the public market and its replacement by an ultra modern facility.
However, senior market officials have told Barbados TODAY that the 41 vendors who operate in the immediate area, must first be relocated to the nearby Probyn Street, where some of the kiosks were already completed, but still required the connection of utility services.
Manager of Markets, Henderson Greaves, explained that it was going to cost taxpayers more than $500,000 to complete the long-drawn out relocation. He said the money would speed up the relocation process, which included the completion of the remainder of stalls at Probyn Street and the installation of utilities.
Fairchild Street vendors who were ordered by ministry officials to vacate the compound back in June to make way for the removal of the asbestos, only returned about a month ago. Some members of the public have been expressing concerns about the environmental and health conditions under which the food vendors around the market were operating. These concerns emerged in light of a lack of proper toilet facilities and running water for customers who dine at the food outlets.
Additionally, the primary garbage receptacle was located upwind, just a few yard from these businesses. (EJ)