Pawnshop operator threatens to sue Pattaya over pedestrian bridges

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The operator of the Pattaya Pawnshop is threatening to sue city hall over the construction of two Sukhumvit Road pedestrian bridges it claims will be perches for thieves.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh met March 14 with representatives from the Department of Rural Roads, Pattaya Money Service Co., and the four communities affected by the proposed overpasses in front of Pattaya City School 5 and by the Redemptorist School for Persons with Disabilities.

Pattaya Money Service submitted a letter to city hall March 7 opposing the construction, saying the bridges will allow thieves to stake out the pawnshop it operates, putting customers with cash or valuables in their pockets at risk.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh (back, left) listens to complaints from residents about the proposed overpass for the disabled.

In addition, there are several banks in the area that could be cased for victims by robbers hanging out on the bridges, the company asserted.

Ronakit explained that the overpasses are designed to aid the disabled and improve safety for area residents and business owners needing to cross Sukhumvit.

The budget request for the project was first submitted in 2008, before the pawnshop began operation, but bureaucratic delays meant the city did not receive funding until 2015.

Pattaya Money Service executives remained unconvinced, however, and said they would continue to oppose the project.

The Pattaya City Attorney’s Office told the deputy mayor that the project could proceed legally if public hearings were held to give the public the chance to formally express their positions.

Ronakit, however, told the attorney’s office to begin collecting evidence and documentation to support the justification for the two bridges in anticipation of a lawsuit filed by the pawnshop operator with the Administrative Court.