City starts more sidewalk vendors cleanup operation

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The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) yesterday began clearing street vendors from sidewalks this year, starting first with vendors at  Wat Rakang Khositaram temple.

The cleanup operation  followed complaints that many illegal vendor stalls had been set up on footpaths and in parking spaces of the temple causing visitors inconvenience.

The cleanup operation was praised by visitors to the temple who said now it is easier for people to get in and make merit there.

“Usually, entering the temple feels like going to the market. Now, it is looking much more like a temple”, one visitor said.

The BMA has asked affected vendors to sell goods in front of their own houses in the Rakang community instead.

However  most vendors were not willing to move.

One vendor argued that there is not enough space to sell goods in front of her house.

The maximum width of the lane in the Wat Rakang community is about 2 meters, so the vendors questioned the BMA how they could possibly sell goods in front of their own houses.

Most vendors said they do business at Wat Rakang for more than 20 years.

They said they were willing to pay if the temple wants them to pay in order to sell goods inside the temple.

So far the BMA has forced some 14,000 vendors  to move out of 39 public areas in 21 districts to new places provided by the city to make way for pedestrians as part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s clean-up campaign.

This year, the BMA plans more with the cleanup operation starts at Wat Rakang Khositaram.

The operation will also cover Pak Khlong Talad Flower Market, areas under Phra Pok Klao Bridge, Pratunam and Banglampu markets as well as Siam square.