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marketA few weeks ago we reported on the much awaited renovation of the Gabriel Hoare Market Lane in Corozal Town.  When Deputy Mayor for Corozal Town Rafael Castillo spoke to us about the project eh stated that under the second phase of the Municipal Development Project, 15 cement stalls would constructed along the lane. The project was set to commence in the month of August and expected to be completed by February 2015. But more than two months after the day of launching, construction of the new stalls are yet to commence. So what’s the hold up? We asked Local Government officer and representative of Social Investment Fund, Clifford King.

Clifford King – Local Gov’t. Officer/ SIF Rep

“These project goes through a procurement process which is very lengthy that goes from feasibility studies to end of a contract in terms of implementation and these are very complex activities within a process and sometimes things take longer than you expect them to take but we are very close as a matter of fact, the draft designs have already been shared with the council for this project and so the next step now is to complete that process and we anticipating that before the end of the year this project will be on the ground here in Corozal.”

As mentioned previously vendors have been relocated and as stated by Deputy Mayor Castillo in a past interview, financial compensation has been promised to them for losses that are expected to be experienced while the project is carried out. But according to King is not necessarily in the department of finance.

Clifford King – Local Gov’t Officer/SIF Rep

“We have a social officer in the project implementation unit who is responsible to make sure that social safe guards are taken care of, in other words, all the people who are project affected persons should be well taken care of they should not be more staff because of a project and that is a requirement of the world bank and yes this project triggered the social safe guard, a mechanism and so we have to ensure that person who are project affected persons are not worst of and so some mechanism has to be in place and I believe what you are speaking to and so anybody who is relocated because of a project they may not necessarily be compensated in terms of cash but we work out something with the council that will take care or whatever way that they have negatively affected in terms of the project which it comes in various forms; cash reimbursement or cash compensation is not necessarily the answer.”

According to King, the project should see a head start before the end of this year.

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