The group, which swelled to more than 100, met Jan. 15 outside city hall with Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome, who listened to complaints about the construction, which has lasted more than seven months. Restaurants, bars and other businesses said they were losing business and that regulatory officers were causing them even more strife.
Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome (center) accepts a document outlining their complaint from protest leader Pranee Klawit.
“The other merchants and I have been facing such difficulties that we can bear it no longer,” said protest organizer Pranee Klawit. “The merchants and I are working people, which is why we had to ask the mayor for help.”
Pranee said that, to make ends meet, restaurants and bars had been putting tables outside amid the construction rubble. Municipal officers then fined them 500-1,000 baht per day if they were not removed. The choice has come down to paying heavy fines or going bust, Pranee said.
Itthiphol promised to speak with the enforcement department to provide the merchants temporary relief while bringing the larger issue with the delayed construction project before the city council.