Trash crisis, sewage top Pattaya residents’ concerns

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Deputy Mayor Vichien Pongpanit chairs a public hearing so the general public can give input on what needs to be fixed in Pattaya.
Deputy Mayor Vichien Pongpanit chairs a public hearing so the general public can give input on what needs to be fixed in Pattaya.

Pattaya’s environmental woes topped the list of grievances as residents got their first chance to comment on the city’s draft four-year development plan.

Deputy Mayor Vichien Pongpanit chaired the Feb. 12 public hearing, the first open to the general public to give input on what needs to be fixed in Pattaya.

While flooding and traffic always topped the public’s priority list in previous hearings for previous development plans, Pattaya’s current garbage crisis and sewage leaks proved the top concerns for the 2019-2022 plan.

Pattaya is struggling to dispose of all its garbage and residents are angry about overflowing transfer sites in three neighborhoods, a 50-ton trash backlog on Koh Larn and ad hoc dumps springing up on roadsides across the region.

The public’s concern over the environment – including sewage backups that have fouled Pattaya Beach – stands in stark contrast to the worries of bureaucrats who suggested, at their hearing last month, that traffic, road accidents and drug use among youths should be the city’s top priorities.

The public, of course, did not forget about flooding, saying it remained a major problem and criticizing the time it is taking for city officials to permanently solve it.

Other concerns included electricity supply, wires and property encroachment.

All the public comments will be merged with those from government agencies to create a final development plan on which future budget requests will be based.