9 months later, Sattahip soi still closed due to missing drain covers

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Sattahip villagers again took to the streets in protest over the Khet Udomsak district’s continued failure to replace stolen drain covers, which for seven months has caused traffic accidents and blocked roads.

Moo 6 village chief Charoon Fuangcharoen led about 20 residents to the Khet Udomsak administration July 31 to file another complaint about the iron grates that are supposed to cover drain pipes on Soi Long Poi. They said the relatively new, million-baht road has been rendered nearly useless by the district’s neglect.

Villagers and officials point to one of the many dangerous uncovered drains in the road after thieves had stolen the cover. Villagers and officials point to one of the many dangerous uncovered drains in the road after thieves had stolen the cover.

The problem began Dec. 9 when residents discovered thieves in pickup trucks had begun pulling the iron grates off the roadway to sell for scrap. The Moo 6 village head Natchai Sangsri blocked the soi and put up warning signs, but a Tawhan Restaurant employee who ignored the warning and was driving with his lights off fell into an open drain, sustaining a head injury. Charoon said last week numerous other injury accidents have occurred since.

He said villagers are angry that the money spent on the road has essentially been wasted, as the soi remains closed to traffic. He said unless the local government fixes the problem, the street will become a hangout for drug dealers and other criminal elements.