Wrecking ball aims for Pukplub Canal structure

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Pattaya officials ordered the first demolition of about 40 structures encroaching on the Pukplub Canal in Naklua as city hall tries to improve storm drainage in the area.

City crews arrived at the unnumbered, 104-sq.-meter building Soi Naklua 11 next to the Pukplub Canal pump station June 3 to tear down the building owned by Pongphun Padsamorn after she ignored orders issued in February to remove the structure. About 20 sq. meters of the building were encroaching on the canal.

Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay points to the marker showing how much over the line the new addition to the building is.
Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay points to the marker showing how much over the line the new addition to the building is.

But just as work crews were readying their sledge hammers, Pongphun showed up and promised to do the job herself. City officials agreed – even though history has shown it was a common stalling tactic – and Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay told the woman she must immediately submit a letter detailing the demolition plans and schedule.

About 40 structures along the vital waterway – which carries storm runoff into the sea, have been targeted the city. On Feb. 26, Department of Land and 14th Military Circle officials surveyed public land between Naklua Soi 40 and the ocean and told building owners to remove structures blocking the waterway.

The city has been trying for some time to clear the canal, but Pongphun’s building was the first to see the wrecking ball. Others cited still are appealing.

The Naklua canal effort comes after Pattaya spent years trying to clear the South Pattaya Canal, where Khakhay said only three obstructions remain.

Verawat said once the encroaching structures are cleared, the canal will be three times wider, improving flood control.