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Shanghai will start taking registrations for night food stalls around May as it explores building its own version of Taiwan’s famous Shilin Night Market.
A trial run for the new markets will start around summer or autumn, but it will take some time before they become a permanent feature, said Gu Zhenhua, deputy director of the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.
The food stalls and vendors will be settled in Minhang, Jiading, Zhabei and Putuo districts and other areas to avoid traffic congestion in downtown, but Gu assured that they won’t be very far from downtown and will be accessible by public transport.
The markets will be managed by a third party.
There have been lots of discussion on whether night markets should be completely done away with after a crackdown on the popular Pengpu night market in Zhabei District at the end of last year. The market was blamed for massive traffic congestion forcing buses to make a detour, while neighborhood residents complained about noise.
Some people are of the opinion that the night food stalls should remain as they are part of the city’s civil culture but have maintained they need to be better managed.
Unlike the illegal vendors, the registered food stalls will be issued sanitary certificates with access to water and electricity, Gu said.
He said Shanghai will study the mode of some well-developed night markets, like the Shilin Night Market in Taipei, as a reference to the future development.
According to a draft plan issued by the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration to regulate the night markets, the district authorities will be asked to find suitable spots to set up the stalls and vendors can register with them.
A POPULAR night market formerly in Zhabei District has been resurrected in Baoshan District with the same vendors.
This comes after Zhabei law enforcement officials removed the illegal vendors who were blamed for creating traffic jams in the area.
The Pengpu night market has almost completely relocated to the Gongjiang Road market, where its vendors have set up shops in the street, an official with the Baoshan urban management authority said.
The authorities said they were making plans to manage the vendors there.
“It’s almost the same, all my neighbors have come here from the Pengpu market,” one vendor said.
More than 100 stalls selling snacks, clothes and cosmetics had set up along Gonghexin Road and Gongjiang Road yesterday evening.
Many customers munched on barbecued snacks while browsing the stalls, some of which extended onto the roads.
“I worked in the former Pengpu market for seven years and suddenly had no place to set up my stalls,” one vendors said.
“We have to survive — what else we can do?” he added.
“Urban management officers and local community officials have negotiated at length on how best to manage the new night market,” an official, surnamed Chen, with the Baoshan urban management authority said.
A team of 50 law enforcement officials from Zhabei District government launched a campaign late last year against illegal vendors at the Pengpu night market after eight bus lines had to change route to give way to the market.
Local governments face a dilemma when cracking down on night markets.
For while night markets may attract complaints from some nearby residents over disturbance, they also provide locals who are often jobless with an opportunity to earn a living.
Shanghai is working on a draft plan to regulate the night markets in the city.
The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration is seeking the opinion of the public on its website over the draft bill that covers vendors and food stalls. The bill aims to ensure customer protection while also ensuring that people have late night choices for dining that does not disturb either the city management or the neighborhood.
The move comes after the aggressive crackdown on the popular Pengpu night market in Zhabei District which caused traffic congestion while the residents complained about the noise.
Shanghai started issuing licenses for breakfast stalls since 2012. Subdistricts were allowed to choose a place to set up licensed stalls which operates at a specific time.
The city issued some 5,700 licenses last year.
“We want to introduce similar management like breakfast stalls for the night markets as well to avoid disputes, noise and road blockages,” said Gu Zhenhua, vice director and spokesman of Shanghai Food Safety Office. “There is also the risk of food safety from these unregulated stalls. The rule will give legal support to the management,” he said.
According to the draft bill, each district can set up temporary or permanent areas for food stalls after taking the traffic and neighborhoods into account. Greenery and urban management bureau will manage the waste oil collection and transportation and road coverage.
The FDA will give necessary training and check on the stall owners, who must register at the subdistrict government, pass the health check before getting the licenses.
A POPULAR night market in Zhabei District will be shut down following renewed efforts to drive away illegal vendors, the district government said yesterday.
A temporary buffer zone that was created at the Pengpu night market will be scrapped after crowds of illegal vendors packed the area, authorities said.
The buffer zone on the north of Linfen Road allowed vendors to do business from 10pm to 2am every day, but with vendors swarming into the zone and setting up cooking and barbecue stalls, residents in the vicinity complained about noise and smoke pollution, officials said.
Eight bus lines that were forced to make a detour because of traffic congestion on the road will go back to their original routes, the district’s traffic authorities said.
An isolation strip separating motor and non-motor lanes has been set up in the area.
Officials said they would continue with their efforts to clear the night market of vendors and expand the area of crackdown gradually. Almost no illegal vendors were seen in the area since Tuesday after the latest round of crackdown, xinmin.cn reported.
The district’s urban management team is patrolling the area to make sure the vendors don’t return again.
The illegal stalls occupied the roads and pedestrian paths in the past. Eight bus lines, including No. 206, 951 and 912, have been avoiding the Wenxi and Linfen roads after 8pm.
The market, which is illegal, has almost become synonymous with the Pengpu locality. It has been there for about 10 years, and has been nicknamed “the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall of the Pengpu community.”
Till very recently, the Zhabei District government had been unable to drive away the vendors because of the market’s popularity with the locals as well as tourists. The illegal vendors do not pay any taxes or fees for their stalls, making their products cheap and affordable to the community.
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.
There were some 400 stalls set up along the 1,000-meter-long section on Linfen Road.
A large crowd meandered along the road until way past midnight every day.
The Shanghai No. 5 Bus Co said it was forced into making changes on some of the bus routes because of traffic jams caused by a night market.
The market is illegal but it is so popular that it has become a sort of an icon for the Pengpu area and even the district.
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.
Eight bus lines, including the No. 206, 951 and 912, will make detours from the Wenxi and Linfen roads after 8pm to avoid the congestion created by the Pengpu Night Market.
A district government official said that as the number of stalls increased day by day, it became more and more difficult for government agencies to uproot it from the neighborhood.
There are some 400 stalls set up along the 1,000-meter-long section on Linfen Road. A large crowd meanders along the way till way past midnight everyday.