Ayutthaya evicts over 160 vendors at Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit temple today

Ayutthaya local authorities today started cutting water and electricity supply to a marketplace behind Wat Phra Mongkhon Bophit temple in the bid to force some 160 vendors encroaching on the historic site to move to a new place arranged for them to trade.

The new marketplace is set to be a new parking area for tour buses, and tourist service centre.

Chief of the Ayutthaya Dumrongtham complaint centre Mrs Sayumphorn Kulasuk said the water and power cut was part of the measures to deal with vendors encroaching on the temple ground which is a world’s heritage.

However vendors were still seen to trade as usual although the cut was enforced.

The new place is about a kilometre away and us behind the old town hall. Authorities assured candies that all facilities have been arranged for vendors, including water and power supply, to move in.

Head of Ayutthaya Historic Park Ms Sukanya Baonid said authorities have tried in vain for long time to resolve the vending problem at the temple  area.

But it was until December last year that UNESCO warned that it might delist the temple from the world heritage site if the marketplace is not evicted, she said.

She said 60-70% of vendors have vowed to cooperate with the authorities to move to new place, but some still remaining defiant.

However she said authorities would enforce the law strictly and by end of this month, all would be moved to new place.

One vendor said he didn’t see the business potential of the new marketplace after a recent inspection.