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November 27, 2013

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Crackdown on illegal night market vendors

A TEAM of 50 law enforcement officials from various departments of the Zhabei District government launched a campaign yesterday against illegal vendors at a popular night market that has been blamed for traffic snarl in the locality.

Such was the extent of the jams that it forced a bus company to make a detour on its bus routes.

Eight law enforcement vehicles confiscated two barbeque ovens, three lamps, 23 tables and chairs and some 50-odd cooking utensils from the Pengpu Night Market.

“The joint team will expand its area of operation and gradually drive away the illegal vendors who occupied roads and pedestrian paths,” a Pengpu Community official told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

There were no reports of conflicts between the vendors and officials.

The district’s urban management team will extend its working hours and patrol the area to stop the vendors from setting up food stalls again, the urban management authority of the district said.

The bus company however said it will continue with the detour unless the congestion from the area is cleared up.

Eight bus lines, including No. 206, 951 and 912, have been avoiding the Wenxi and Linfen roads in the night.

“We will not go back to the original route until the government is done with the crackdown and informs us to return to the original route,” a coordinator of the bus No. 206 told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

The market, which is illegal, has almost become synonymous with the Pengpu locality.

The Zhabei District government, however, has been unable to drive away the vendors because of the market’s popularity with the locals as well as tourists.

“We will try to reach a compromise with the vendors because many of them are jobless residents who have to make a living,” the community official said.

Most of the 200,000 residents in the Pengpu community are relocated residents from old torn-down neighborhoods, and out-of-towners who have relative low buying power, making the night market with its cheap food and products extremely popular, the Zhabei government said.

The illegal vendors do not pay any taxes or fees for their stalls, making their products affordable to the community.

The district government said it will try to work out a solution.



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