- Begins registration and verification of shop operators
Barrington Flemming – Staff Reporter
The Jamaica Railway Corporation has evicted sixty families from the problemplagued People’s Arcade in Montego Bay.
Former Deputy Mayor of Montego Bay, Michael Troupe had raised concerns about the illegal occupants at the Arcade, citing that it was posing serious health risks and called for their immediate relocation.
Fitzroy Williams, Executive Director of the Jamaica Railway Corporation told the Western Mirror that a court order to recover possession of the property was served on the families who were using some shops at the facility as residential quarters, which was posing a serious health risk.
“We put in effect the court order to recover possession of the property on Sunday (June 24) so we evicted thosepersons who took up residence at the shops and have begun the registration and verification of those who will be operating as commercial interests,” Mr. Williams explained.
Mr. Williams said the eviction has come after several months and verbal and written notices to vacate the premises were issued to those living at the Arcade, but who failed to respond.
He said following the eviction, cleanup and sanitization of the shops took place on Wednesday and Thursday, adding that a meeting will be convened soon with the occupiers of shops (commercial vendors) hoping to continue their operation.
“As soon as we have all the necessary info re-occupancy we will make a determination as to the nature of the arrangement on a case-by-case basis and formalize the tenure – it can’t be a carte blanche act as situations differ from case to case.”
The JRC head said the commercial vendors have welcomed the eviction of the squatters, indicating that the Jamaica Public Service had also carried out dismantling of illegal power lines at the Arcade, as they jointly work to formalize the operations of the 450-shop-facility as a viable commercial entity.
Mr. Williams and JRC Chairman, Ferris Ziadie, met with the vendors last year in a bid to craft an approach to formalize the tenure of the vendors and to deal effectively with a number of issues plaguing the facility.