YCDC starts registering street-side vendors
Yangon City Development Committee has launched a survey to record names and locations of street sellers in a bid to clean the streets and create a more orderly system.
YANGON City Development Committee is hoping to impose order on the thousands of street sellers strewn across Myanmar’s commercial capital. The committee has started a city-wide effort to record the names and locations of vendors, who will be issued with registration cards and could be forced to relocate.
Local city planning experts estimate there are around 5500 roadside sellers on the streets of Yangon. At present, vendors are more or less free to pitch up where they like, which is contributing to traffic issues on the city’s already congested thoroughfares.
YCDC executive board committee member Daw Than Myint Aung said the new initiative will designate set places and times for roadside sellers to operate, and is designed to help Yangon become a cleaner city.
Vendors will be issued with registration cards, and some will be able to retain their existing spot, she said. “If some are based in places crowded with people and cars we will fix [a new place] for them.”
For vendors who will have to leave their current location, suitable places with access to water and mobile toilet facilities should be found, she added.
YCDC started recording venders’ names and locations from September 22, which involves taking pictures of both the seller and their stall, said Daw Than Myint Aung.
Downtown townships are being given first priority, as there is a lack of discipline among downtown vendors who work on busy roads, she said. Sellers who work on roads and streets must not contribute to traffic problems.
“We’re preparing a clean and healthy city,” she said. “There needs to be a system for fixing places [for roadside stalls].”
A YCDC official involved in the initiative, who asked to remain anonymous, said the first lists are being made for Lanmadaw, Latha , Pabedan, Kyauktada, Pazundaung and Botahtaung townships.
Roadside sellers in those townships told The Myanmar Times that YCDC had come to take their picture, but had not given instructions on whether they would have to move.
“They took photos with a board that had a number,” said Daw Thuzar, who sells betel nut on Bogyoke Aung San Road. “I asked them what they are going to do, but they said they weren’t exactly sure. But we heard that we will be move to Strand Road.”
The YCDC official said that once the lists are complete it will be up to the committee to assess which vendors could continue operation and which may have relocate.
City planning experts said that locations for roadside sellers should be set according to fixed regulations to avoid causing problems on roads and train platforms. Police Captain Win Lwin also told The Myanmar Times that sellers operating on roads were an issue.
“Roadside sellers are [one factor] in traffic jams,” he said. “We need to solve the issue systematically.”
A street vendor adds mixed tobacco liquid onto betel quids at a roadside shop in Yangon.