Moulmein stallholders seek new premises after fire

Dec 10, 2008 (DVB), Stallholders from Moulmein’s lower market which burnt down recently are struggling to agree with local authorities on a temporary location where they can continue to trade.

Only a small number of people have been able to afford the 10,000 kyat daily rent for shops in the upper market, particularly as sales are low at the moment, according to a shopkeeper who did not want to be named.

Shopkeepers are still in discussions with local municipal authorities and elders to find a location for the temporary market.

"We were told to use the old cemetery, [but] that would not be convenient for us as it is far away from the upper market, the bus stops and the harbours," the shopkeeper said.

"They told us they would raise the issue with the senior authorities and we would be informed in two days' time," she said.

Stallholders have also asked the sports authorities to let them use a sports stadium as a temporary market, but they have refused.

Although business journals in Rangoon have said that insurance companies will cover the cost of the damage and losses, many stallholders had not taken out insurance, the shopkeeper said.

"Only the shop is insured, not the goods in the shop," she said.

"Only those who have taken out policies are insured against fire, and only 50 percent have done so."

Moulmein municipal authorities and sports officials declined to comment on the matter.

Reporting by Phone Min Naing

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