Vendors resist stall clearance orders

Many stallholders are resisting City Hall's efforts to move them on as part of its efforts to clear pavements for pedestrians, even though officials claim the campaign is meeting with success.

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City Hall claims street vendors are cooperating with its requests they stay away during the day, though an inspection trip in which reporters took part suggests otherwise.

Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to the Bangkok governor, yesterday led a group of reporters and officials to inspect a 1.5km stretch of pavements between Ramkhamhaeng Soi 17 and Soi 65. A similar trip was also carried out on Tuesday.

He admitted that only around 30 of 207 shophouse operators along Ramkhamhaeng Road have carried out Bangkok Metropolitan Administration instructions to remove stalls which encroach on pavements, but said vendors have until tomorrow to comply with the orders.

"After the deadline, the pavements will be three to four metres wide, as they should be," Mr Wanlop said.

The adviser also led a team to inspect walkways along Sukhumvit Road and footpaths in Klong Toey and Watthana districts.

He said many street vendors in the three areas are carrying out the BMA's requests.

Municipal officials have been instructed to conduct regular visits to street-stall hot spots, to make sure the vendors continue to stay clear of the pavements.

The BMA has told street vendors they can only use the pavements to sell their products from 7pm until midnight.

Each vendor has been given a space measuring 1.5m by 1m.

A street vendor near Soi Nana on Sukhumvit Road said she had been selling clothes and DVDs on the pavement near Sukhumvit Soi 11 for more than 20 years.

The vendor, who asked not to be named, said she is willing to cooperate with the BMA's new trading hours.

However, she complained her business would be damaged by the BMA policy, since most shoppers visit during the daytime.

She argued most people who come to the area at night are diners, out for an evening meal.

She and other local vendors would petition the National Council for Peace and Order for help if the new trading hours damage their livelihoods.

Mr Wanlop said many vendors working along Sukhumvit Road have yet to remove stalls from pavements.

The BMA will send out formal requests to seek cooperation from the offending business operators that they remove the stalls, he said.

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