Monday, 18 November 2019

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Old capital’s roadside vendors meet bureaucratic end

Rangoon (Mizzima) – Roadside vendors were banned from yesterday across the 33 Townships of the former capital of Burma, according to street sellers and the municipality’s authority.

The Rangoon City Development Committee on July 2 announced that roadside selling would be banned and that violators would face detention. 

“The announcement said roadside sellers wouldn’t be allowed and that if a person broke the regulation he or she would be arrested and the shop would be destroyed”, a vendor who for the past decade has worked on Baho Road, Sanchaung Township.

Roadside selling had only been allowed downtown at predetermined time intervals.

“We banned roadside selling on the left and right sides of every busy road”, an official from the city authority said.

The decision arose from a meeting at Rangoon City Hall of municipal authorities to advance the city, the official said.

Although the total number of roadside shops is unknown in the city of more than four million people, a retired municipal official estimated there might be about 5,000 roadside sellers in Sanchaung alone.

“Some people have inherited their vending businesses from their parents. Some have entered into roadside markets for their living costs,” he said. “Roadside selling has become a tradition in Rangoon so banning it may not succeed.”

Roadside shops were absent from city streets yesterday, except for some vendors with betel nuts in wheelbarrows.

“This is slow vehicle. We have already registered with municipal authorities. We have to pay 150,000 Kyats (about US$150) per year and 200 Kyats a day as a selling tax,” according to a betel nut seller in Sanchaung.

A member of the city committee said municipal authorities had started to crack down on vendors and confiscate roadside shops.


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