Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Restless traders at council

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TRADERS who came early to Dewan Beringin in Taman Sri Gombak to book their stall lots for the Thaipusam festival in Batu Caves were furious with the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) for the poor crowd control.

Traders lined up as early at 8am outside Dewan Beringin to choose the lots and some refused to take up the offer saying that RM200 was high.

Later MPS reduced the rent to the original amount of RM150.

MPS had allocated 699 lots for the Thaipusam festival.

Vassan Chandrasekaran, 25, said he waited for two hours to get inside the hall and the queue stretched all the way outside the compound.

For aunthenticity: Council officers taking pictures of traders who are applying for lots in the Thaipusam bazaar.

“All those who are waiting to get the lots outside were in the dark as they were not briefed on the procedures.

“There was no proper queue outside the hall and everything was in a mess. The enforcement officers could not control the crowd outside.

“However, inside the hall the crowd was more orderly,’’ said Vassan, who is taking the lot for the second year selling music CDs and DVDs.

Another trader Kumar Vishnu, 28, said there was no briefing from the council until the people got into the hall.

“We have to be well prepared with documents and cash before we are allowed to enter the hall. I hope MPS will come up with a better system next year,’’ he said.

Compared with previous years, MPS has now taken pictures of each individual to prevent others from selling the lots for RM2,000.

There is also a place for those to get their jabs before being able to trade at Batu Caves.

MPS president Datuk Zainal Abidin Aala wanted to charge the extra RM50 because the council had to bear the cost of cleaning up, overtime for workers and stationing people at the area after the festival.

He said last year, MPS had to pay contractors RM80,000 to clean up.

“In previous years, we had people selling their lots to others and that is why this year we are taking pictures of individuals applying for the stalls.

“Those who rent out the lots will be blacklisted and will not be able to apply again next year.

“With this system, we hope that those who apply for lots are the ones trading there,’’ he said.