Tha Tian vendors get new deadline

Bangkok City Hall on Wednesday gave vendors at Tha Tian and Tha Chang another four weeks to move to other sales venues arranged by the administration.

Pol Mai Gen Wichai Sangprapai, an advisor to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, said the deadline was extended from Aug 4 to Aug 31 at a meeting with about 300 vendors, police and executives of Phra Nakhon district office.

City Hall agreed to the extension after the vendors asked for more time to prepare for relocation and continue business at four BMA-arranged spots in Thewes market, Sanam Luang 2 market, Talat Phlu market and a market in front of Rat Burana district office.

Pol Mai Gen Wichai said there were about 500 old and new vendors in the Tha Tian and Tha Chang areas who had erected stalls on footpaths for a long time. Violators would be arrested immediately after the Aug 31 deadline, he said.

The BMA has launched a campaign to tidy footpaths and improve the landscape around historic Rattanakosin Island to restore beauty to the area as part of the cultural heritage of Bangkok. It would consider later what spots would be allowed for vendors to operate from after the task is done. 

"I understand the vendors' grievances, but the BMA must keep the city tidy and in order," Pol Mai Gen Wichai said. "I believe they will understand and cooperate because footpaths are public spaces for everyone to use, not for someone to occupy and make personal gains."

The BMA adviser said street vendors on Ramkhamhaeng Road had been cooperative with authorities and he would go there on Monday to thank them.

Vendors occupying footpaths at Tha Phra Chan, Silom, Major Ratchayothin, Pratunam and CentralWorld shopping complex will be targeted next, he added.

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