Vendors rally to axe night market plan

Vendors rally to axe night market plan

Vendors at Chatuchak market called on the Transport Ministry Tuesday to intervene in their dispute with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), which is seeking to operate a night market at the same venue.

The SRT's proposed night market would occupy space on the streets where the current market operates during the daytime, but the lots would be leased to new vendors.

As there will be an overlap in what the day and night vendors sell, this would put them in direct competition and threaten the livelihoods of the current stallholders, said Chatree Soponbannarak, a representative for the Chatuchak vendors.

He made the remark Tuesday after lodging an official complaint with the ministry at Government House. The SRT owns the land on which the market is situated.

Currently there are over 10,000 vendors at Chatuchak market. It was formerly referred to as a weekend market but is also open during the week.

Mr Chatree, who serves as chairman of an association of Chatuchak vendors, said the ministry, which supervises the SRT, should talk the rail agency into scrapping its plan to hold a bid to find an operator for the project -- and then axe the night market project altogether.

He said the SRT is due to hold a bid on Sept 27 to find a private firm to operate the night market.

"What the SRT should do is further develop the potential for existing vendors to help them stay competitive. It should never have come up with this plan," he said.

"The SRT has several land plots to choose from if it wants to operate a night market," he added.

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