Bulldozers ready to move intransigent Ban Amphur hawkers

A lone security officer tries to keep the situation under control while Ban Amphur Beach shops and food stall vendors protest being temporarily evicted from their places of business.

Najomtien officials will demolish shops and food stalls on Ban Amphur Beach after vendors refused to comply with three eviction orders.

The Sattahip subdistrict plans to finish construction of a new food-service building and improve the landscaping at Ban Amphur. But to do so, longtime vendors have to move their food carts, remove stalls and tear down temporary structures.

Vendors have known for two years that this day was coming but still stubbornly refused to move, even though they were told they could resume business at the new building once it’s finished.

Sellers have not been charged rent during the coronavirus pandemic, but all rental contracts ended July 1 and the vendors were told to move. They didn’t, and an extension was given until Aug. 1. Then Aug. 4. Finally, on Aug. 5, the hawkers were told to remove their tables, chairs, beach beds and other property, or they would be destroyed.

Najomtien Mayor Sompong Sainapa said the funds have been budgeted for a new food-service building and landscaping improvement and claimed the work would be completed by the end of September.

The sellers protested, with Moo 3 village headman Pol Phujoy standing up for them. He said all the vendors want is a temporary place to do business during construction, even though Chonburi’s beaches are currently closed.

Najomtien officials told the merchants to pitch tents under which they could operate.

Najomtien Mayor Sompong Sainapa said a meeting was held June 10 to explain the work that needed to be done and why they needed to move. He said the work would be completed by the end of September.

Officials have told vendors to move out their belongings to let construction begin.

Moo 3 village headman Pol Phujoy arrived to help the vendors plead their case, asking for a temporary place to set up during construction.