City Hall plots boost for new vendors

City Hall plots boost for new vendors

3 pilot sites to give rookies a chance

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is poised to launch three pilot sites for street vendors to give new operators a chance, according to deputy Bangkok governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul.

The sites are located on the pavement areas of Rama II Road's Soi 69 in Bang Khunthian district, the pavement in Ari Soi 1 of Phaya Thai district and Sukhumvit Soi 70 in On Nut of Prawet district.

Mr Sakoltee said these three sites were selected because they have enough space in line with City Hall's Jan 28 regulations.

Deputy governor Sakoltee said these sites will provide a chance for new vendors to compete in a lottery for spots against older, more established street food businesses.

"If the old vendors want to operate concessions there, they can submit a request. If there aren't enough spaces, they need to draw lots, and the district offices will be responsible for this," he said.

With these additions, there will now be 175 spots in Bangkok where food and street vendors have been permitted to operate. The new sites will open as soon as the Metropolitan Police Bureau has vetted the BMA's plan.

Bangkok has long been famous for its street food scene, although under the current regime, their impact on the pedestrian thoroughfares has come under the spotlight.

Five years ago, the BMA attempted to clean up the streets by regulating which areas vendors could operate in, levying fines against those who operated without permission.

Mr Sakoltee said the BMA has now ordered municipal officials to speed up an investigation into the current allocations to ensure that the pavement is wide enough to accommodate food vendors in all approved areas, as well to make sure hygiene standards are being met.

For the time being, however, there will be no evictions due to the economic impact of Covid-19, assured the deputy governor.

In a related development, the BMA yesterday prescribed new rules for Khao San Road street vendors.

Khao San Road will open for street vendors to trade in two sessions each day -- from 9am to 5pm, and then from 6pm to midnight. Vendors must operate their stalls according to the BMA's social-distancing measures.

A survey of Khao San Road merchants revealed that 234 vendors are registered to sell on the street, but only 181 merchants have confirmed their rights. Should the remaining 53 vendors fail to contact the BMA, their spots will be offered to new tenants, according to the deputy governor.

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