BMA extends plan to clear pavements

Illegal vendors at Tha Tian and Tha Chang will be targeted next as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) steps up its plan to keep city pavements tidy.

BMA adviser and spokeswoman Threedow Aphaiwongs said City Hall would continue its plan to tidy the footpaths in the Rattanakosin area to celebrate HM the King's birthday on Dec 5. The next spots would be the Tha Tian and Tha Chang areas, she said.

A source said the spots will have to be cleared and all vendors removed.

The officials had tried to tidy the footpaths there for a long time, but failed, because vendors pay mafia types for protection, the source said. The current operation should succeed since it's backed by the military.

BMA adviser Wichai Sangprapai said 200 vendors from Khlong Lot have relocated to Tha Chang and Tha Tian. All vendors, old and new, have been given a leaflet about the BMA's plan to clear the pavements, he said. No date has been given.

"I don't know where to go if I am asked to leave," said a fruit vendor who asked not to be named. She and other vendors have been selling at Tha Chang for more than 40 years. The vendor said most illegal vendors were outsiders who took over the footpaths in the evening. She said she would cooperate with officials if allowed to continue to sell in the area.

The footpaths near Klong Lot canal and the Supreme Court were cleared and cleaned by officials yesterday. Vendors were earlier told to leave.

The National Council for Peace and Order hopes to return footpaths to pedestrians. Earlier, footpaths near Bo Bae market and in the Ramkhamhaeng area were cleared. Last week, lottery vendors were told to leave the footpath at Khok Wua intersection on Ratchadamnoen Avenue.

City Hall provided new locations for vendors in four other areas — at Chatuchak 2 in Min Buri district, Sanam Luang 2 in Thawi Watthana district, opposite Bon Marche in Chatuchak district, and in front of Rat Burana district office.

Ms Threedow said district officials would be assigned to patrol the footpaths in their districts, to keep them clear and clean.

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