Somnuk Huayyai’s family has been living on the same three-rai property in East Pattaya since the 70-year-old’s grandmother built a house there. But for the past 10 years she’s also lived with flooding.
Located behind the Pattaya Floating Market, Somnuk’s property has become nearly unlivable due to both flooding and the tourist attraction’s garbage that piles up in front of her home. And when she tried to sell, the market low-balled its offer, she said.
But Somnuk is not alone. Since June, residents between Sukhumvit Soi 83 and 98 had complained that Floating Market management has continually filled property it owns near the park, raising it to a higher level than surrounding land. But because the land-filling has been uneven and sporadic, large lakes form after heavy rain.
The lakes then overflow and all the water runs downhill into their yards.
In response, Pattaya’s former administrators had 40 meters of 60-centimeter-wide pipe laid to take flood waters to the main drainage pipe on Sukhumvit Road. In addition, the crews cleaned out the existing drainage pipes of mud and garbage. But those are only temporary fixes.
New Deputy Mayor Pattana Boonsawat visited Somnuk Oct. 11 to check on the progress of this summer’s work, and found more needs to be done.
Somnuk said investors offered to buy her land with offers of a new house and two million baht. She figures, however, the three rai is worth about nine times that much.
Pattana said there are long-term plans to install a 5,000-cu.meter tank to catch storm runoff, but there’s no estimate on when it will be built. In the interim, he said, city hall could act as a mediator with the Floating Market to offer her a fair market rate for her land if she still wants to sell.
He also pledged to speed up the investigation into whether the Floating Market illegally filled in the land and broke any laws by causing flooding of neighboring property.