Political rite of summer plays out again at South Pattaya drainage canal

Friday, 18 April 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 16 By  Warunya Thongrod

As yet another rainy season looms on the horizon, Pattaya officials made their annual public sojourn to the South Pattaya flood-control canal, making another round of promises to demolish structures built on top of drainage waterway.

It’s a rite of summer that has played out every year since at least 2009. City officials stand amid the makeshift bridges, huts and other obstacles, promise to seek out the derelict owners and threaten demolition. Very seldom has it actually ever happened.

The familiar scene took place again April 8 as Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho met at city hall with Pattaya Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay and various department heads.

Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho holds up a map showing the trespass area that authorities need to work on.Banglamung District Chief Sakchai Taengho holds up a map showing the trespass area that authorities need to work on.

Verawat reported that a recent inspection found up to 14 household trespassing on the canal, covering about 4.5 rai of land. He promised that city hall plans to demolish the impeding structures April 22.

He said the city will also dredge and widen the canal so rain water can flow freely.

It was only last June that Sakchai and Verawat met on the canal problem. At that time, he said there were only two or three problem spots.

Historically, follow-up on threats has been thin. Back in 2011, Chonburi’s then- Gov. Wichit Chatpaisit lambasted Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome and city officials for their inaction, ordering the canal to be cleared immediately.

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