Bangkok's famous Chatuchak weekend market will be open six days a week starting mid-April in an effort to boost the income of vendors affected by Covid-19.
Wullaya Wattanarat, deputy permanent city clerk of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), said the market had lost almost half of its Thai customers due to the pandemic and economic slowdown.
To help the market's 10,000-plus vendors, Bangkok governor Aswin Kwanmuang tasked the BMA's committee on the management of markets with promoting and supporting the vendors' businesses.
The committee has now ruled that vendors can operate on all weekdays except Mondays, to allow for cleaning and dredging of the gutters.
Stall-holders will be allowed to stay open until 6pm from Tuesday to Thursday, and until 10pm from Friday to Sunday.
Events will be held around the market's Clock Tower to help promote products following complaints from vendors whose stalls are located deep inside the market.
Those vendors said that customers were not bothering to walk to their stalls because it was too inconvenient.
Anything constructed in prohibited areas alongside the gutters has been demolished, Ms Wullaya said, and more will be removed by the market's perimeter fences. The market's facelift is expected to be completed by mid April and certainly by the time the market is open for six days a week.
Each of the market's 31 zones will be invited to nominate one person to represent it when vendors submit opinions to the BMA on key issues.
Ms Wullaya said it was the government's policy to develop the market for the benefit of its vendors and called for cooperation by all those involved.
In January, the BMA cut rents at its 10 markets, including Chatuchak, to ease the plight of vendors hit by the coronavirus.