Bangkok street vendors to face curbs, not ban: Ambassador

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KABEER YOUSUF –
MUSCAT, April 24 –
The Royal Thai Embassy has refuted rumours that the country was contemplating a ban on the roadside food vendors.
While contending that the news is “not fully correct”, Jesda Katavetin, Thailand Ambassador to the Sultanate, told Observer it will be imposing certain restrictions on the roadside eateries.
“The news regarding banning of all street food in Bangkok is incorrect. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is planning to manage street vendors in some areas such as Khao San Road and Yaowarat with a view to improving cleanliness and safety in the streets as some vendors have occupied pavements,” Katavetin said.
A report by The Nation, a top daily in Thailand, citing BMA, said street food vendors in Bangkok will still be allowed in small alleys and designated areas, but they have to be properly managed to prevent a negative impact on people.
The report, quoting Wanlop Suwandee, chief adviser to the Bangkok Governor, said street vendors in China Town’s Yaowarat and Khao San Road will still be allowed in zoned areas.
“BMA plans to promote Yaowarat and Khao San Road as major tourist attractions in Bangkok. Street food and street vendors are still allowed in zoned areas as we are trying to make the areas tidy and clean, but sellers must comply with the law,” said Wanlop.
He said street food vendors operating in small alleys will be allowed on the condition that they don’t create problems for others.
BMA admitted that street food was integral to the soul of the city.
However, it said street food vendors will not be allowed anywhere they choose, as was the practice in the past, because Bangkok has become crowded.
“In fact, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is trying to promote street food because that’s what we are known for,” said Katavetin.