Bangkok, April 21 (IANS) A top Thai official said on Friday that street food, an important part of daily life in Bangkok, will not be banned in the city.
"I can assure you that there is no ban on street food vendors, street food is part of us and part of life," Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said at a press conference.
Earlier, reports said Thai authorities had already removed street vendors from 431 locations around Bangkok to facilitate traffic flow and improve the city's cleanliness while street food vendors on the famous Yaowarat Road or Chinatown and Khao San will have to improve their standards, Xinhua news agency reported.
Thai media said that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) was going to ban street food vendors in all 50 districts of Bangkok this year to maintain the capital city's cleanliness and safety.
"The BMA just removed some street vendors in some certain areas, which is their consistent policy," said Kobkarn, adding that it is necessary for some street food vendors to improve their hygiene standards.
Some of them pour dirty water onto the street, some do not wear gloves, so the city is asking them to adjust, she said.
During the press conference about the Michelin Guide Bangkok on Friday, both Michelin and the Tourism Authority of Thailand said street food is one of Bangkok's attractions.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand also confirmed to reporters that Bangkok remains a top destination for street food.
BM said it will be providing support and advice to the city's street food vendors to help them raise hygiene standards, improve food safety and adhere to proper waste management procedures.
Bangkok's street food, cheap compared to restaurants, is famous among both locals and tourists.