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O8S0kN-pageO8S0kN-pageA cloud of mystery appears to be hanging over the

future of the proposed redevelopment of the Fairchild

Street Public Market and its food court, amidst fears

by Government officials that the area poses a threat to

public health.

Both Manager of Markets Henderson Greaves and

Chief Technical Officer in the Ministry of Transport and

Works Frank Thornhill remained mum when pressed

by Barbados TODAY to explain why the project for

the construction of a new public market, and relocation

of all the vendors continued to be in limbo –– even

though some $1/2million had been allocated since last

year to complete the removal process to Probyn Street.

A reliable ministry source informed Barbados TODAY

that up to this day the money had not been disbursed. The

project, he noted, was scheduled to be finished since last year.

He said 15 of the 42 vendors were still to be relocated,

“but they continue to sell food and operate in unsanitary

conditions”, our source exclaimed. The upset official lamented

that while all the vendors and shop owners who operated

from within the old public market had gone over to the

existing one at Golden Square, those left in the external

food court continued to ply their trade with rats running

around them –– conditions unsuited for the food business.

He also pointed out that the Probyn Street facility was not

altogether ready either to take those vendors.

Although two of the key officials involved in the project

are declining to talk, Chief Environmental Health Officer

Tyrone Applewhaite told BarbadosTODAY that the

Fairchild Street area was one of the top priority sections of

Bridgetown, as far as his department’s anti-rodent campaign

was concerned.

Asked if the old market area where vendors

operated was seen as a public health threat,

Applewhaite replied: “That is why we have embarked

on our . . . rodent programme in Bridgetown. We have

listed Fairchild Street as a high priority area, and we

continue to constantly monitor it for rodents.”

The Chief Environmental Health Officer noted that

there was a large rodent population in Bridgetown

and that Fairchild Street was high on his department’s

agenda. Around the middle of last year, the asbestos

roof of the old public market was stripped. This was all

part of the process leading to the clearing of the site,

along with relocation of the vendors, which would make

way for the start of reconstruction.

During the time the asbestos was being removed,

the vendors in the immediate precincts were placed

in a “safe zone” away from the vicinity until work

was completed.

Around July/August last year, those small business

persons resumed operations from their original spots,

after being given the all-clear by Government officials.

The building of a new public market is only one aspect of

the overall Fairchild Street Redevelopment Project.

A new integrated bus terminal complex that would include

modern accommodation for the state-run Transport Board

buses and private service vehicles, is also planned. That, too,

has been in the works for several years now.

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