The Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) will proceed with a controversial plan to relocate the Abdali Popular Market to the new site of Ras El Ein in the capital, a move that prompted protests by shop owners and vendors, according to municipality officials. Bassem Tarawnh, GAM city deputy director for districts and environmental affairs, said a committee comprising municipality officials and representatives of the labour ministry, the public security department and shop owners had been assigned to receive applications for allocation of space at the new site.
The committee will be tasked with the distribution of kiosks and vending stalls this week after the applications had been filled and assessed, he said, urging owners to cooperate with the panel to expedite the process so that the new market will be soon up and running.
Tarawneh defended the transfer decision, saying the old market, located in an area close to many public departments, was a reason for traffic congestions and inconveniences caused to pedestrians and those using public offices. There had been complaints by owners of adjacent stores.
The Abdali market opened 12 years ago as an alternative vegetable and fruit market, but slowly turned into a major outlet with over 500 kiosks selling mainly second-hand clothes and household items.
Established on a 30-dunum plot of land, the market is designated by GAM to become a major recreational park as part of an urbanisation plan for the capital, especially covering the city's strategic areas.
Municipal officials say the new site will turn out to be more convenient for the public as it is closer to the old downtown Amman area and will feature all the essential services, mainly sanitation and parking lots.