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Khao San Road vendors defy BMA’s ban on sidewalk trading

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Khao San Road vendors defy BMA’s ban on sidewalk trading | The Thaiger

By Kornwaree Panyasuppakun

“We will open and close our footpath stalls at the regular time.”

Bangkok’s Khao San Road street vendors are defying the BMA’s ban on footpath stalls.

City Hall has decided that the footpaths must be ‘returned to the people’ and that market traders are going to have to restrict their sales from 6pm – midnight, instead of the all day trading they’ve been providing to tourists in the past.

About 70 per cent of stall owners started setting up their stalls after a symbolic street clean in the morning marked the beginning of the ban. The Bangkok Administration’s order to regulate Khaosan Road prohibits sidewalk vending and allows time for carts and stalls to operate on the road only from 6pm to midnight.

Bangkok deputy governor Sakoltee Phattiyakul ordered the ban on pavement stalls after City Hall received complaints that they were encroaching on the pavement in the busy tourist area. Before the ban, pedestrians had to venture out into the traffic during the day, while at night an influx of tourists and vendors had turned the street into an unofficial walking street.

– at midnight, 1am, or 2pm as we always do,” said Chonnapah Teansawang, coordinator of the Khaosan Road Street Vendors Association.

Khao San Road vendors defy BMA’s ban on sidewalk trading | News by The ThaigerYada Pornpetrumpa, the president of Khaosan Road Street Vendors Association, speaks to reporters in the presence of city police as vendors defy the order from the BMA.

Yada Pornpetrumpa, the Association’s president, said about 200 – or 70 per cent – of all stall owners had decided to defy the city’s order and trade as they’d always done. According to several vendors, officials took pictures and collected names of the offending stall owners as evidence and announced that the offending stall owners would face legal action as such trading was against the Public Cleanliness and Orderliness Act 1992.

According to Yada, shop owners may face an “extra” penalty for their protest because officials had threatened to ban them from occupying spaces on the street at night, she said.

“If the city strictly enforces the law, we could legally ‘move’ the vendors from the pavements but we don’t want to ruin the image and tourism of Khaosan Road,” said the deputy governor.

During yesterday morning’s clean-up, Sakoltee oversaw Bangkok administration’s officials as they and the street vendors cleaned the street and removed blockages from the sewerage system. The clean-up followed complaints from vendors that setting up stalls on the street was “dangerous”.

Khao San Road vendors defy BMA’s ban on sidewalk trading | News by The Thaiger Khao San Road vendors defy BMA’s ban on sidewalk trading | News by The Thaiger

“Heavy rain and clogged sewers often caused flooding on Khaosan,” said a street vendor, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“I think driving stalls down the road may lead to accidents like a short circuit and even electrocution.”

The clogged sewers were dealt with … but many problems remain. In an interview with Thai Time 4.0 radio, the deputy governor said the plan to turn Khaosan Road into a night market destination had encountered problems as the Metropolitan Police Bureau refused to “legally” block traffic from Khaosan Road from 6pm until midnight.

On the other hand, Chanasongkram Police Station Superintendent Pol Colonel Chakkrit Chosoongnoen said City Hall should have discussed their plans with the Metropolitan Police Bureau before announcing the order.

During the day, according to Yada, tour operators often drop tourists at Khaosan after visiting the Grand Palace. Also, regulating Khaosan Road may affect souvenir businesses and hotels in Khaosan, said Nache Aree, a shop-and-stall owner who had been trading handmade bags in Khaosan Road for over 14 years.

Khao San Road vendors defy BMA’s ban on sidewalk trading | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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Bangkok

Newborn baby dumped beside garbage bins

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Newborn baby dumped beside garbage bins | The Thaiger

FILE PHOTO

A newborn baby has been found abandoned near rubbish bins in Chon Buri province, south-east of Bangkok, earlier today.

18 year old city sanitation worker, Anucha Boonkhai, has told police that he had loaded garbage from all the bins on Soi 4 of Ban Kao village in Tambon Ban Kao, Muang district, when he spotted a pile of towels. He checked and found a baby boy, whose umbilical cord was still attached still smudged with blood, wrapped in one of the towels.

The baby was alive but had been bitten by mosquitoes and insects so he called an emergency unit of a hospital and then informed police.

Police are now checking footage from security and CCTV cameras in the area to try to identify the mother or person who had dumped the newborn baby.

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Bangkok

Summer storms leave 6,900 homes damaged this month

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Summer storms leave 6,900 homes damaged this month | The Thaiger

More than 6,900 houses, mostly in a patch through the central-north regions of Thailand, have been hit by summer storms since the beginning of April, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department.

Chayapol Thitisak, the director-general, says the department has received reports that 6,940 houses in 1,010 villages in 307 tambon of 115 districts had been damaged by storms since April 5. Twenty-nine provinces have been affected.

He said nine villagers were reported injured during the period as a result of storm damage.

Chayapol said his department has coordinated with Army bases and government agencies concerned to provide help to the affected villagers.

The summer storms, quickly developing tropical storm-cells, are prevalent this time of the year, usually when cooler air from China starts to interact with the rising south-western monsoon. They can be quite violent, sudden and bring strong winds, torrential rain and even hail.

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Bangkok

Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport

The Thaiger

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Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport | The Thaiger

The Thai cabinet yesterday approved the construction of a third runway at Suvarnabhumi International Airport as part of the country’s ambition to become the aviation hub of ASEAN.

The 21.7 billion baht project will increase the combined capacity of Suvarnabhumi international airport’s runways to 94 arrivals and departures per hour from the current 64, said Lt-Gen Weerachon Sukonthapatipak, deputy government spokesman.

Suvarnabhumi Airport (aka. BKK) was opened in 2006 as Bangkok’s second airport. Initially it replaced the tired Don Mueang Airport but Don Mueang was later revamped as a low-coast airport to service the growing traffic demands.

Meanwhile Suvarnabhumi Airport was, and still is, operating above its designed capacity. An earlier bid to build a third terminal has been mired in controversy and is currently shelved pending a new brief from Airports of Thailand with a new round of design bids called for in the future.

Third runway for BKK Suvarnabhumi Airport | News by The Thaiger

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