Bending to vitriolic criticism during his campaign, new Pattaya Mayor Poramet Ngampichet conceded to delaying new infrastructure-improvement projects until current, behind-schedule, public works are completed.
Speaking at a June 28 meeting called to address Pattaya’s chronic flooding problems, Poramet acknowledged that his Rao Rak Pattaya group of city candidates was blasted from all sides for the seemingly never-ending roadwork and pipe-laying projects started by group leader and former mayor Sonthaya Kunplome.
Election rivals said Poramet, Sonthaya’s hand-picked successor, would simply continue the failed development strategies of the past decade.
Poramet admitted that if four more planned flood-drainage projects were to launch, city residents would erupt in anger. So, he told city council members and bureaucrats that those projects must wait until currently underway jobs are done.
Almost all of the infrastructure work underway involve the laying of new, larger pipes to carry storm runoff from higher elevations to the sea. The heart of the work is along Pattaya’s railway-parallel road, where work is badly behind schedule.
But, once those projects are done, Pattaya’s flooding situation will be much improved, Poramet said.
In the meantime, the mayor said the city will use prison labor to clean drainage and sewer pipes along Pattaya Beach Road, Wong Amat Beach and Thepprasit Soi 7, which has been hit hard by flooding due to being torn up as part of another, long-delayed roadwork job.
Pattaya also will continue to dredge the Naklua, South Pattaya, Suapaw and Nok Yang canals, Poramet said.