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Chatuchak vendors block traffic to protest rent hike

A group of about 300 vendors from Bangkok's Chatuchak Market yesterday afternoon blocked the outbound lane of Phaholyothin Road in protest against the policy of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) to collect a stall rent of Bt3,562 per month.

As of press time, the protest was ongoing and three policemen were injured after angry demonstrators reportedly threw bottles at them.

Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke insisted the fee was fair and that those who failed to register for the stalls by March 13 would be regarded as having given up their right to rent.

After the SRT governor invited the vendors of the famous weekend market's 27 project areas to sign stall rental contracts of Bt3,562 per month yesterday morning, many vendors, led by Sanguan Damrongthai, president of the Chatuchak Market Co-operative, gathered at the market's clock tower and then moved to the third entrance before blocking the road, causing a severe traffic jam as motorists could use only one lane.

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