Friday, 14 October 2011
Pantai Bazaria criticised by Hawkers and MP
Haphazard and indiscriminate planning is causing a lot of suffering to dispossessed Lembah Pantai traders.
In repeat of the Little India hawker episode, the traders are being told by KL City Hall (DBKL) to move their businesses to a temporary centre off Jalan Pantai Permai.
They will have to share the cramped Bazaria centre with at least 130 other hawkers. None of them know, however, how long they are to be located there.
Sundry shop owner Dhaiful Amran Kasim, 38, owned a roadside stall along Jalan Pantai Permai for over 3 years.
“They told me I have to be here temporarily, I don’t know whether it is permanent…I can’t do anything about it,” he told FMT, sitting outside his new lot.
Once, his business faced the main road, which led to the New Pantai Expressway (NPE). Today, Jalan Pantai Permai is positioned at the back of his shop, hidden from passers-by.
All he sees in front of his shop now is a single road with narrow parking spaces. Like Dhaiful’s, most of the lots face inward towards this road instead of towards the main road, adjacent to the dozens of Bukit Angkasa low-cost flats.
Snaking through the hawker centre, the road is also the only way in or out of the area for cars or motorcycles.
Many of the lots are empty, awaiting new tenants to occupy them. Several hawkers have occupied them; FMT even spotted one of the lots housing a motorcycle repair shop.
The lots also seem to show signs of poor and haphazard planning: TNB electric meters are at shoulder height, well within the reach of children.
Hawker K Parameswari, 54, told FMT that her new stall in the Bazaria centre was too small.
Like Dhaiful, she was made to move here after her original stall – located further away from Jalan Pantai Permai – was demolished more than three months ago.
“They told me this place was temporary, but I have no idea for how long it will be,” she said, adding that her new lot was “too narrow” to operate from.
A food seller in the area for over 20 years, Parameswari also said that while she was allowed to keep her licence, she did not have to pay any rent.
In a visit to Lembah Pantai today, FMT noticed DBKL destroying most of the age-old shops along Jalan Pantai Permai.
Excavators were levelling most of the stalls and not all of them were vacant. Several people were still inside trading as bulldozers reduced to rubble their former neighbours’ stalls.