Yangon’s downtown roadside shops increased tenfold under current government

The number of roadside shops increased tenfold in downtown Yangon during the tenure of the ruling government, according to an official from the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

The government tried to reduce the number of roadside shops, but the plan failed, and the number increased from 5,000 to 50,000 in five years in the downtown areas of Kyauktada, Pabedan, Latha, Lanmadaw, Pazuntaung and Botahtaung.

The total number of roadside shops throughout Yangon is believed to be as many as a hundred thousand.

The number of shopkeepers increased since Cyclone Nargis ravaged the delta region in 2008. Many disaster victims who could not rehabilitate their businesses moved to Yangon to seek new opportunities.

“The [shopkeepers] don’t want to sell at the spots we assign. We can’t place them in the Tamwe market since it closes at night time. The problem is we don’t have a place to put them in,” said the YCDC official.

Many shopkeepers annoy pedestrians and vehicles since they occupy a large portion of the roads and pavements.

The YCDC has limited the shopkeepers’ business hours to ease traffic problems  to some extent.

The complete ban on roadside shops proved unrealistic after such a law was passed in September 2014 and never succeeded. Many have called for designated areas to set up for the shopkeepers.

Source: ELEVEN

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