As part of the new East Coast highway construction project, just over a hundred and fifty vendors who ply their trade on the Mon Repos market tarmac would no longer be able to do so since that side of the market would basically become the middle of the new highway.
As a matter of fact, vendors are fully aware that they would be evicted from the location within a matter of days.
But even so, one greens vendor who operates there cannot seem to come to grips with the reality that he would no longer have a vending space at Mon Repos to sell his greens.
So after repeatedly expressing his financial fears to his wife of nine years, the man, a weekend greens vendor identified only as Pradeep, and who hails from Berbice, but stays at Hope/ Lowlands on weekends, decided to call it a day last Wednesday, when he took a poisonous substance.
While details are sketchy, “Squash man” another vendor and friend told this publication that the man usually sells at the market only on Saturdays and is believed to be the father of several children.
He claimed that the man had mentioned on at least two occasions that if he has to stop selling at the market, he would rather kill himself, since efforts to get spots at other markets on the East Coast has been difficult.
That aside, he was of the view that relocating from his current position was a financially bad move since he is not likely to make the sums that he was making at Mon Repos.
It is believed that the man was straddled with a defaulting mortgage, and had recently lost a small canter that was repossessed by an auto dealer over missed payments.
“Squash man” who says that he only knows Pradeep as his vending neighbour was not sure why he did not show up to sell today (Saturday), and was even unaware that the man had committed suicide.
A subsequent call that he placed to a number that he had for the decease was answered by a woman who confirmed that he had died and hung up. Thereafter, all repeated calls went to voicemail.
However, several other vendors were quick to point out that a lot of people have debts and loans to pay, and would experience severe financial problems once the market tarmac is closed off to vending.
They suggested that Pradeep was probably overwhelmed by debts and knows that with the closing of the market tarmac, he would no longer be able to honor his obligations to his creditors, as he would not be able to sell his greens.
In their view, the State could have either purchase two properties that are currently on sale opposite the market area, and rent out the spaces to vendors, and in the process, recover the monies spent to buy the land.
They surmise that at least fifty to sixty percent of the vendors would still have somewhere to sell.
For them, it is only a matter of time before other affected vendors do the same thing as Pradeep.
The Mon Repos market is arguably one of the most popular and most economically vibrant markets on the East Coast of Demerara.
It is believed that more than five million dollars in sales per week, occurs there.