Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng instructed Por Sen Chey district authorities and Century Group not to stop vendors from selling goods around Century Plaza Market, which is marked for redevelopment.
The governor made the remarks on Thursday at a ground-breaking ceremony of Century Plaza Market in Por Sen Chey district’s Kakab I commune.
Sreng’s directive came after the affected vendors protested on Tuesday because Century Group cleared their beds and carts from the premises.
The governor said the redevelopment of the market into a modern facility had experienced challenges on the issues of public order, safety, fire prevention, a lack of hygiene and the dilapidated building.
“I would like to remind our company representatives and vendors who met with me on the issue.
“In and surrounding the market, there are three types of vendors – those who sell goods in the state market [350 stalls], those in the private market [329 stalls], and those who sell around the market.
“On Tuesday, there was a small technical problem. I had asked Century Group to look into it again so that it does not affect the vendors.
“We have already met at the Phnom Penh Municipal Hall [and concluded] that the vendors on the roads fall under the jurisdiction of the Phnom Penh municipal administration.
“We will not evict them until the Phnom Penh municipal administration finds a place to relocate them. This is a promise that will allow them to continue conducting business to support their livelihoods.”
Moving the vendors to a park is just a temporary solution. All the work of building stalls and connecting electricity is the responsibility of the company. The company is not allowed to take money from the vendors.
A vendor, Chin Doeun welcomed Sreng’s directive which promised to redevelop the market without affecting the vendors’ business activities and not evict them forcibly.
However, another vendor Doeun said he was sceptical of the redevelopment project.
He appealed to the governor to send officials to supervise the redevelopment work to ensure it will not affect vendors who conduct their business outside the market.
“We are afraid that the redevelopment work will affect us,” he said.
Another vendor, Mak Amey, said that she was still worried about her future because work to identify a place to relocate the roadside vendors is yet to begin.
“We still protested because we have no proper agreement with the company [Century Group]. It only said that all vendors could stay [at the same location] to sell,” Amey told The Post.
Century Group had announced that Century Plaza Market would be redeveloped into a modern facility and the project is expected to be completed in two years.
The new market will be a seven-storey building with five storeys of space for vendors and two basement levels.
Sreng said the market had been handed over to Century Group in 1992 after it was registered as a state market at Municipal Hall.