Authorities in the capital’s Prampi Makara district have continued their education campaign and advised residents to stop the use of pavements as food sale places in order to bring order to the area and reclaim the footpaths for pedestrians.

Deputy district governor Tor Viru on April 30 led forces to clean up the streets. He was accompanied by Tim Vuthy, deputy police chief in charge of order, and order department chief Prak Hak as they restored order to the Borey Keila region on Street 211 in Veal Vong commune’s village XII.

Viru said the operation was necessary, as some residents used the pavement as business facilities, which had led to the loss of public space for pedestrians.

“We instructed them to stop using the pavements for their businesses. We should leave one-third of pavements empty, but some residents were keeping carts or even beds there. Sometimes they move furniture into public space and rest there. They often relieve themselves there, which is detrimental to public order and creates an unpleasant odour,” he said.

He added that in addition to issuing instructions, authorities had also cleaned the roads and collected rubbish because some vendors in the area did not understand the importance of public hygiene. However, he said that after being spoken to, most understand the need for shared public space and removed their items.

“Before we paid them a visit in person, we notified them of the law. When we went to enforce the regulations, the public complied, and left our pavements free,” he said.

“I implemented the laws that are in force, without taking money in exchange for the right to sell on the pavement,” he said.

Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) president Vorn Pov supported the action, but said that alternative arrangements needed to be made, otherwise the vendors would simply return.

“Arranging order and evicting street sellers is a very hard task. After they are evicted, they often just come right back – because they have no work other than their sales. I think enforcing this rule means that authorities should be responsible for finding new sales places for them. If we evict them without a prepared solution, this will have to be repeated in the near future,” he said.