Yangon food vendors to be ousted from sidewalks
Yangon City Development Committee plans to clear food vendors from the commercial capital’s 11 busiest roads, forcing the sellers to relocate to side streets.
YANGON’S 11 busiest roads will soon be free of street vendors, an official from Yangon City Development Committee’s Department of Administration told The Myanmar Times yesterday.
All those currently selling food on these thoroughfares will have to relocate to a soon-to-open night bazaar, while hawkers of other goods will be told to take their wares to side streets.
The bazaar will allow street vendors to continue selling food on 18th and 19th streets, in the commercial capital’s Chinatown neighbourhood.
“We will announce when the plan starts,” the official said.
The ban includes five main eastwest roads – Bogyoke Aung San, Anawrahta, Mahabandoola, Merchant and Strand – and six main north-south roads – Pansodan, Sule Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda, Latha, Lanmadaw and Phone Gyi.
Anyone who violates the ban will be punished under YCDC law.
Another night bazaar on Strand Road is slated to open on November 20, allowing vendors to hawk their goods by renting stall space for K500 per year plus daily water and cleaning fees, and monthly electricity charges.
There are about 6000 street vendors in Yangon and the forthcoming Strand Road night bazaar can hold about 1600, said YCDC member Daw Than Myint Aung.
“At the moment, we cannot provide a new place for them so we have allowed them to sell where they are selling now,” she said. “But we want them to be disciplined. Anawrahta, Mahabandoola, Merchant and other prominent roads are always crowded with heavy traffic and pedestrians. That is why we told vendors to move to the night bazaar on Strand Road.”
The more than 4000 vendors who cannot fit into the night bazaar will be allowed to set up on side streets, a plan that has drawn criticism from members of the regional parliament.
“We cannot tell what we will do after we review their scheme,” said MP U Naing Oo (NLD; Pabedan 1). “When the plan is initiated, the inner streets will be full of vendors. I am not sure whether residents will accept that or not.”
U Naing Oo said he has heard that the plan to clear Yangon’s main streets of vendors will start on November 24 or 25.
Hawkers of food and other goods are a common sight on many of Yangon’s bustling throughfares.