200 illegal stalls shut in Jeddah
More than 200 illegally operated stalls were raided and closed down in the Balad district in downtown Jeddah over the past month, Sami Al-Ghamdi, spokesman for Jeddah municipality, said Monday.
Municipal officials have undertaken round-the-clock inspection of stalls in all districts in the city. Food items unfit for human consumption sold in such stalls have been destroyed while those fit for consumption have been sent to charity organizations,” Al-Ghamdi told Arab News.
The official said the municipality noticed the presence of illegal stalls in several poor neighborhoods and was striving to halt such practices with the help of police and other related departments.
According to Al-Ghamdi, those stalls run by Saudis have been legalized while the ones run by expatriate workers have been shut down.
The Committee to Combat Hawkers said in a recent statement that during the last Hijri year ending on Oct. 25, the municipality destroyed 3,276 carts used by vendors, 2,350 stalls, and 1,436 pick-up loads of vegetable and fruits besides arresting thousands of illegal expatriate hawkers with the help of local police.
The inspectors also raided and destroyed 1,000 illegal stalls, Al-Ghamdi said, and urged citizens to call the toll-free number 940, or notify authorities via the municipality’s website in case they come across any illegal stands operating in any district.
It has been noticed recently that a number of illicit stalls and restaurants have cropped up in most streets and districts in the city causing traffic congestion and environmental pollution.
Educationist Bandar Zamim said that the presence of countless illegal stalls in different city districts has contributed to the spread of contagious diseases. Hawkers have found a profitable market in the city’s schools, he said, and wondered why municipal inspectors are not taking any measures against them.
Resident Nader Al-Fouli said he loves to eat traditional food from stalls at street corners. However, he admitted some foreign hawkers set up their stalls without official permit and operate with scant regard for cleanliness or hygiene.