Khao San vendors urge BMA clean-up changes
Khao San vendors have called on the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to review new regulations limiting street trading issued by the agency, saying the regulations could hurt tourism and affect their income.
They said the regulations are too rigid, and are demanding authorities relax them.
A group of vendors in the Khao San area in Phra Nakhon district headed by Yada Pornphetrumpha assembled at Wat Chanasongkhram School on Tuesday to discuss the regulations issued by the BMA for street vendors in the area.
Under the new regime, vendors will be allowed to sell their products from Thursdays until Sundays, from 6pm to midnight, Ms Yada said.
Their stalls must be placed within one section of the traffic lane, she added.
Currently, the street vendors have been allowed to sell in the evening in a designated area on Khao San Road every day except on Mondays.
The regulations are part of the BMA's clean-up campaign, launched in July 2014, aimed at reclaiming public areas and pavements that were encroached upon by street vendors.
Ms Yada said her group did not agree with the regulations, demanding authorities revise the days vendors are allowed in the area.
"Fewer days for trade means our income will be cut," she said.
The group also called on authorities to allow vendors to occupy a 1.2-metre deep section of the road with their stalls, she said, adding vendors have agreed to keep the area tidy and help authorities look out for criminals.
Wisut Kittiraweechot, who heads the City Cultural Council of Phra Nakhon district, said the agency supports the BMA's regulations regarding vendors, adding they will help improve the area's landscape, attracting more tourists.
Several spots near Khao San are untidy and dirty, discouraging tourists, he noted.
Mr Wisut said the agency also supports the idea of limiting space for vendors to one side of the road, allowing for emergency vehicles to pass through.
However, he said only allowing vendors to operate four days a week may affect their income.
Mr Wisut has called on authorities to allow vendors to get involved in drawing up regulations by holding talks.
Ms Yada said her group will submit proposals to authorities for consideration.
They will also hand over a separate letter to the trade association asking it help address problems, she added.
Vendors have never been allowed to participate in drafting regulations.
After successfully reclaiming Khlong Thom, Saphan Lek, and Pak Klong markets, the BMA now is targeting Siam, Yaowarat, and Pratunam.