SMC reminds eateries to stop using parking spaces, roadsides as extra seating areas

SIBU, Feb 26: Eateries that set up tables and chairs at the roadside for their business are endangering the lives of their customers.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) standing committee chairman for General Purpose, Councillor Donna Petrus Ngelai wanted this practice to be stopped.

Speaking at a press conference today, she said the area outside the shophouse was never meant for eating outlet operators to put their chairs and tables to accommodate more customers.

‘If you put up chairs and tables that encroach the road side, it can be very dangerous especially in places with dim lighting. Cars might ram into them due to poor visibility,” she said.

Donna said that operators were allowed to use the five-foot way outside their outlet but needed to apply to the council for a permit.

Another bad practice by shophouse and coffeeshop owners was to place chairs in parking lots in front of their businesses to reserve the space for their vehicles.

“You do not own the parking space as it is for all to use. If you want to hold a particular ceremony such as the opening of your new business on the parking space, you can apply with the council for the permit, but please don’t put chairs or boxes on them,” she said.

Separately, councillor Joseph Chieng who is the chairman for Building Control committee also urged business owners to apply with the council should they want to erect structures such as awnings.

However he said permits could only be granted if the applicants abided by certain policies which included that the awning was above a car parking space, not above the roadway as it could block access to for heavy vehicles. —DayakDaily