A planned East Pattaya mosque has become the first victim of the estimate-padding scandal involving the Nongprue Engineering Department, with oversight of the long-delayed project transferred to Chonburi Province.
Sub-district engineering chief Thongchai Kamlangthai acknowledged Nov. 24 that construction of the Nurunyagin Mosque – which broke ground 4.5 years ago – has been halted formally amid the uproar over accusations his department has been padding cost estimates by up to 50 percent.
Thongchai claimed that architectural plans for the Soi Nernplabwan mosque partially funded by the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration had changed repeatedly, sending estimated costs up to 60 million baht, 20 million over budget.
The decision to transfer design of the project to the province came four days after the Nongprue Council excoriated the Engineering Department for “unprofessional” budgeting by consistently submitting funding requests padded by half and not finishing the jobs once the cash had been allocated.
Mayor Mai Chaiyanit on Nov. 20 ordered all infrastructure projects be reviewed and if any changes had been made to plans, the projects would be halted immediately and reevaluated.