Hawkers Ask Gov to Lift Ban on Tha Pae Gate Market

 | Wed 2 Mar 2016 07:31 ICT

CityNews – Fifty people who were representatives of vendors from the Tha Pae Gate area on Sunday Walking Streets (zone 7, according to the Municipality rental agreement for the weekly market), handed a letter on the 29th February to a representative of the governor, requesting help.

thapae request

The social and environmental activist Facebook group, Raks Chiang Mai, had, last October, protested against the use of Tha Pae Gate’s public area as a place of business. These are photographs from their posts showing the difference between 2007 and late 2015. They had previously generated a large online support for this request, as well as to clear the steps of Doi Suthep from hawkers, and the area had been cleared of businesses a since early November.

“This is a public space, used for public events such as cultural, traditional, important gatherings or non profit activities, we don’t want it cluttered and ugly just so that a few people can trade,” said one comment.

However, the representatives said, that between 800-900 families depended on income earned from this weekly market and they had been badly affected by the ban. They went on to say that many of them have lived off this market for ten years. They have asked the governor to lift the ban and allow them to trade.

Previously, the Mayor, whose office is in charge of the market, had created concern amongst netizens, by stating that the ban would only apply until the end of this year’s cerebrations for Chiang Mai’s 720th anniversary.

The governor’s office then told protesters that since Tha Pae Gate itself was deemed a historic landmark, it is under the purview of the Fine Arts Department and any requests for use must go through the ministry of interior’s department, effectively throwing the unpopular ball to another department to deal with.