Soi Siam Country Club becoming ghost town

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Many businesses along Siam Country Club Road have shut down due to the slow road works.
Many businesses along Siam Country Club Road have shut down due to the slow road works.

Much like the American outposts of the Old West after the gold rush ended, the Soi Siam Country Club neighborhood is becoming a ghost town, with businesses shutting down en masse due to the hugely delayed road-construction project.

Nongprue Sub-district authorities responsible for the construction debacle acknowledged after a recent tour of the torn-up thoroughfare that many businesses have shut down. Residents can’t carry on with no customers and their regular patrons don’t generate enough income to live. Those lucky enough to have back-up businesses have already moved on. The less fortunate just went bankrupt.

Mab 1 Community President Thanaporn Luangborisut filed another complaint with the sub-district Sept. 1, claiming the neighborhood is dying from the snail-paced construction that has no end in sight.

Residents also said a man connected to the planting of banana trees in the middle of the soi as a protest has died of a mysterious ailment. But locals believe his death is tied to depression over his business failing.

Nongprue Mayor Mai Chaiyanit, who seemingly spends most of his time these days apologizing for the delays and swearing the work will conclude soon, most recently blamed the problem on the Provincial Waterworks Authority, which must move pipes in front of Raiwanasin Market. The PWA, however, hasn’t supplied alternative routing for the water supply lines, Mai said.

Nonetheless, he adamantly repeated that the job will be done by early December and was now 70 percent complete. He said the contractor will face stiff daily fines for every day they are late after Dec. 3.