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Flower vendors at Pak Klong Talad market last night dumped their flowers on the street to protest attempt by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to forcibly evict them from the pavements.
The vendors, numbering about 300, scattered their flowers all over the Chakphet street in front of the largest flower market after the Phra Nakhon assistant district officer Wuthichai Bunsot rejected their demand to continue selling on the pavements after the deadline yesterday.
The BMA has relaxed the eviction order for several months and had set yesterday as deadline for forced eviction.
The vendors’ retaliation to the eviction at 10.30pm caused heavy traffic jams on the main road down the Memorial Bridge from the Thonburi side.
According to the officer the BMA wanted to regulate sidewalk vending at Pak Klong Talad under the policy of the military junta to return all pavements occupied by vendors back to pedestrians, and to beautify the capital.
Vendors on pavements at this flower market has been told to prepare for final eviction on July 1 to new places arranged by the BMA since April.
During the period they were allowed to continue business from 8.30pm-00.30am only. But they still defied the eviction order.
Two negotiations were held last night but the vendors demanded to negotiate only with the Bangkok governor who had sole authority to decide.
Failing to meet the governor, the vendors then blocked traffic on the road with the flowers.
By 2am, the vendors agreed to call off the blockade for fear that the traffic would go worst if it lingered on till the morning.
But they vowed to return again if their demand is not heeded.
BMA later sent workers and trucks to remove the flowers scattered on the street and open it to traffic again.
But BMA officer insisted on regulating the pavement vending despite of the threat by vendors.
Vendors complained that the new places they were told to go charged them higher rental fees which they could hardly afford.
They claimed the new places were rented by non-traders who re-rent spaces to them to make profit.