Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee said he has advised about 35 vendors at Salvatori Building, Port of Spain, to discuss their relocation concerns with UDeCOTT (Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago) management or Minister of Housing and Urban Development Dr Roodal Moonilal.
He also said UDeCOTT wants to start building on the site by next month.
On Wednesday, about 35 vendors staged a protest outside Parliament while debate of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014 was ongoing at the International Waterfront Centre, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain.
Spokesman Steve Fletcher claimed they had gotten a notice from the Port of Spain City Corporation to leave by Sunday (Independence Day).
Yesterday, they protested again outside the Salvatori Building site.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Tim Kee said: “UDeCOTT wants their place. Before, they wanted to get assistance from the corporation to vend legally. The corporation approached UDeCOTT and asked if it could lease the spot. That is how they got its use, with the full understanding UDeCOTT was not ready to start its construction.
“After Carnival, they made a request to extend their time. They wanted the place. They got its use up till June. When June came, they said they had nowhere to go. They got up to July and, subsequently, August.”
Tim Kee said the contentious Salvatori site does not belong to the City Corporation.
“It does not belong to the corporation. It belongs to UDeCOTT. They want their land to start construction in September. I told them if they want assistance, they have to go to Moonilal or UDeCOTT.”
Meanwhile, Tim Kee said he had tried to assist the vendors by making representation to permanent secretary Eric James in the Ministry of Local Government.
“They believe I can do miracles. The corporation doesn’t want to push them out because the owner (UDeCOTT) wants their place. I went to UDeCOTT and PTSC (Public Transport Service Corporation), asking for them to use their car park, but to no avail. I will try to talk to Moonilal one more time,” said the mayor.