Street ven­dors an­gered by new night mar­ket ar­range­ments

The Myanmar Times - - News - Za­yarlinn@mm­times.com ZAY YAR LINN

STREET ven­dors yes­ter­day vented their dis­con­tent over stall al­lot­ments at the new night mar­ket on Strand Road, with some not selected say­ing they’ve drawn a short straw.

Yan­gon’s night mar­ket, an ini­tia­tive of Yan­gon City Development Com­mit­tee, sits along Strand Road span­ning Kyauk­tada and Lan­madaw town­ships. The mu­nic­i­pal au­thor­ity had opened the mar­ket with the in­ten­tion of re­lo­cat­ing ven­dors from the busiest of down­town’s choked roads.

Ac­cord­ing to YCDC’s vendor list, there are a to­tal of 6041 street ven­dors op­er­at­ing on the 11 busiest roads in down­town Yan­gon. But just over 1600 of th­ese were picked for re­lo­ca­tion to the new night mar­ket. Fruit and food ven­dors were of­fered spots as a pri­or­ity.

In a Novem­ber 28 press con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­tated by the Myan­mar Jour­nal­ist Net­work, street ven­dors from Latha, Pabe­dan and Kyauk­tada town­ships said the lim­ited num­ber of slots at the new mar­ket were ar­bi­trar­ily doled out by YCDC.

“There are many ven­dors who were not cho­sen who have sold for a long time, while there are many ven­dors who have re­lo­cated to the night mar­ket even though they have only been sell­ing for a short time,” said fruit seller U Than Oo.

Ven­dors left on the city streets say they face costs of do­ing business that those picked for the new mar­ket no longer have to deal with.

“Some house own­ers on small streets are ask­ing K100,000 [US$77] per month for the small space in front of their houses. If things are kept in there, we have to pay K500 or K1000 per day, as well as K100 per bucket of wa­ter,” U Than Oo said.

YCDC sug­gested that ven­dors not selected for the night mar­ket ought to con­sider sell­ing on the city’s smaller side streets. How­ever, ven­dors say there are many no­tices around town that state ex­plic­itly that this is not al­lowed.

Latha town­ship vendor U Aung Ko also sug­gested that the process for se­lect­ing ven­dors to re­lo­cate to the new mar­ket may not have been en­tirely fair.

“I think they should do it by draw­ing lots. We as­sume that they gave the op­por­tu­nity to [those with good re­la­tions with the au­thor­i­ties],” he said. Fruit seller

Ven­dors left on the streets face ever-in­creas­ing re­stric­tions on where they can park and sell. Ven­dors who were sell­ing on the ma­jor northsouth roads in Yan­gon (Bo­gyoke Aung San, Anawratha, Ma­ha­ban­doola, Mer­chant and Strand roads) as well as those link­ing east and west (Pan­so­dan, Sule, Sh­wedagon, Latha, Lan­madaw and Phone Gyi roads) are no longer al­lowed to op­er­ate. Fail­ure to abide by the new YCDC reg­u­la­tions will see them po­ten­tially face le­gal ac­tion or fines.

“If they ar­rest us, where can we go to sell? Many un­fair things have come up [as a re­sult of this new mar­ket],” said U Aung Ko. “They have places for only 1600 shops – out of the over 6000 ex­ist­ing stall­hold­ers.”

The night mar­ket on Strand Road, which opened on Novem­ber 23, is open 3-11pm. Ven­dors there must pay a K500 reg­is­tra­tion fee for a year and they have to pay for daily wa­ter use, as well as clean­ing and elec­tric­ity fees.

In re­sponse to the claims made at the press con­fer­ence, YCDC says stall­hold­ers must now regis­ter their in­ter­est in the night mar­ket and should bring their griev­ances through the cor­rect chan­nels.

“We have al­ready told them – if they will not have their photo taken and they will not regis­ter, we will not have a place for them. If they don’t have a place, they should sub­mit the is­sue to us,” YCDC’s Department of Plan­ning deputy U Nyi Nyi Oo said. – Trans­la­tion by San Layy

and Emoon

‘There are many [street] ven­dors who were not cho­sen who have sold for a long time.’

U Than Oo

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