Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This is pathetic !

By Melissa Sim & Lim Wei Chean
Only hawkers with islandwide licences, like this vendor, are allowed on Orchard Road. At least 10 illegal vendors have left after warnings from the NEA. -- ST PHOTO: WANG HUI FEN

HAWKERS who do not hold the correct licence have been warned to take their business away from Orchard Road.

It is believed that at least 10 illegal ice cream vendors have left the shopping strip in the last month since they were slapped with orders to leave.

The only roadside hawkers allowed on Orchard Road are those who hold islandwide licences.

But such blanket licences were no longer issued after 1974, and only 35 are in circulation. They lapse when the licence holder dies.

The illegal ice cream sellers on Orchard Road typically hold licences which allow them to sell their sweet treats only in suburban housing estates.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has also stepped up warnings against roadside pedlars hawking sundries from tissue paper to cheap wallets, belts, toys and handbags.

Their presence turns Singapore's premier shopping belt into a low-class 'pasar malam', or night bazaar, along with the buskers and ear-piercing road shows, the Orchard Road Business Association complained recently.

A Straits Times check on Monday found eight ice cream wagons along the 800m stretch between Orchard and Somerset MRT stations. Three did not have an islandwide licence.

But many told The Straits Times that business away from Orchard Road cannot support a livelihood.

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