As part of a “beautification” effort, authorities in Siem Reap town have begun enforcing strict mandates on the location of street vendors throughout the city, forcing them to move further back from the sides of roads.
Siem Reap district police chief Sou San said yesterday that the efforts were intended to “clean up” the city and “make it more beautiful” for tourists, though he said tourist complaints had not caused the recent mandate.
In 2010, the city sent letters to vendors urging them to relocate further back from the sides of roads, but those instructions fell on deaf ears.
Now, authorities are simply approaching individual vendors and forcing them to relocate, he said.
The measure will be enforced on all of Siem Reap town’s roads and authorities would work “step by step”, he said, though he did not provide a specific time-frame for implementation and he was uncertain how many vendors would be affected.
Yesterday, police cleared Street 22 and forced more than 20 vendors to move back from the road.
Sou San added that if vendors did not agree to relocate “we will remove their stuff by ourselves”.