NATION

Nakasi Vendors Refuse To Move To New Location

There is no running water or toilet facilities and refuse is dumped on the roadside for the Nausori Town Council to collect.
22 Jan 2020 11:49
Nakasi Vendors Refuse To Move To New Location
Facing camera from left: Qali Tabaiwalu and Lesio at their stall in Nakasi.They pay a monthly rental fee of $100 to owners of the shopping mall. Photo: Shalveen Chand

Roadside vegetable vendors in Nakasi are skeptical that the new location earmarked for a municipal market would not yield as much income as selling from their present location.

They said they did not want to move.

Minister for Local Government Premila Kumar said a site behind the RB Patel Southpoint was identified as the spot to build the market.

According to Ms Kumar, roadside vendors were illegal and violated health and safety regulations.

There is no running water or toilet facilities and refuse is dumped on the roadside for the Nausori Town Council to collect.

The stalls near Kings Road and built on the road leading to Tebara Plaza were deemed illegal.

However, the ministry and municipality have not removed them but were making arrangements for an alternative venue.

Vendors like Shalvin Sami have been there for as long as seven years.

“We don’t pay any fees. Initially, Nausori Town Council collected fees, but that stopped because they were not really providing any service,” he said.

“I don’t think the new site will be good for us. The customer traffic will not be as much as this place.”

Lesio Tabaiwalu and his wife Qalo have put up a marquee and operate their stall on the opposite end of the road to Mr Sami.

Unlike Mr Sami, the couple pays $100 a month to Tebara Plaza as rent space.

“We thought of doing business by the books. So we hired the space and we sell here Tuesday to Saturday,” he said.

“Everyone has to feed their families, but I hope that people do it the right way.”

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told special administrators in a meeting that such vendors were illegal, unsafe and an eyesore.

He urged municipalities to work on relocating such operations to proper facilities.

He urged the municipalities to make minimarkets in the suburbs to accommodate this change as well.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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