Loy Kroh Vendors Meet Officials to Discuss Order to Move by August 1st
CityNews – Local vendors along the Loy Kroh Road stretch between Chang Klan to Charoenprathet (or McDonald’s to the Iron Bridge) attended a meeting with local authorities to discuss a recent deadline that will force them to move from the area by August 1st.
Pol. Col. Thapanapong Chairangsee, Superintendent of Chiang Mai Regional Police Traffic Centre; Lieutenant General Panu Rojanawasu Deputy Mayor of Chiang Mai Municipality; and Col. Poka Jokloy, County Militia Headquarters at 33 Camp Kawila and representative of the NCPO met with the vendors on Wed 26th July.
The vendors asked for the meeting to express their concerns about being given a short deadline to move, claiming that the authorities had yet to find them a suitable replacement location. They also expressed concerns that local big businesses had facilitated the crackdown.
However, the authorities who attended the meeting explained that the request for the vendors to leave was issued two years ago following the NCPO’s order to re-organise roadsides to give back space to traffic and pedestrians, but the vendors had chosen to ignore it.
Again, on August 25th, 2016 authorities ordered the vendors to leave the road by September 1st, but due to the short time frame the local authorities unofficially extended that deadline to August 1st, 2017 – giving them a whole year to find a new location.
During that time authorities also provided them with a new roadside location near Wat Sri Don Chai (opposite Pantip Plaza) along the Night Bazaar Road, however the vendors have so far refused to relocate, claiming the location is not good enough.
A representative of the vendors spoke at the meeting and explained that even though they could move, their strip was the first along the road, and without them being there to begin with the idea for a Night Bazaar would never have happened.
Authorities claimed that part of the reason for the relocation was due to clearing the road so more traffic can get through. The vendors also claimed that if they did leave the roadsides would be full of parked cars and bikes which would most likely make the road even smaller than as it is now with their stalls.
The meeting concluded with an extension of three months before the vendors must leave, and if they are not happy with their stall locations near Wat Sri Don Chai then they can submit a request for an alternative location to the police and municipality within that time. Lieutenant General Panu Rojanawasu said that the municipality will do all they can in this time to help the vendors come to an agreement, however at the end of the three months they will still need to leave regardless of what progress has been or not been made in that time.
He also added that they are currently considering turning the Night Bazaar into a walking street for one day of the week, and if that project goes ahead, then the vendors will be allowed to open shop in their old location for that day only.