The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration plans to rezone night entertainment venues in the capital to ensure public safety.
According to Pol Gen Adis Ngamchitsuksri, advisor to Bangkok Governor ChadchartSittipunt on city and tourism management, a review on revising zones for night entertainment venues is currently ongoing following two recent fire incidents within the last two months. Inspections have revealed that 83 venues in the capital have safety issues, with most of the entertainment venues located outside the zones designated by the Interior Ministry in 2002.
According to the advisor, the Interior Ministry has originally designated Patpong Road, Makkasan Road around Royal City Avenue (RCA), and Ratchadaphisek Road as nightlife zones to supervise tourists and keep them from disturbing local communities. However, dining habits have changed over time. People have begun visiting places outside designated zones, such as Thong Lor-Ekamai, Soi Ari, or Khao San Road, where authorities cannot enforce safety regulations.
The advisor noted that these pubs must have two licenses, a food license from the BMA and a license to sell alcohol from the Excise Department, to operate legally in the capital. However, based on information from the Metropolitan Police Bureau, 651 locations have been discovered to be operating without licenses, with 639 of these venues located outside of zoning, raising serious concerns about the safety of people visiting these places.
The advisor stated the BMA would form a panel with the police to reclassify these zones in the capital and submit a proposal to the Interior Ministry for consideration. These changes would allow BMA officials to better manage these areas and provide improved safety for visitors and residents. He assures that BMA officials inspect these venues weekly and make recommendations and guidelines to operators to ensure public safety. He also warns business owners that their failure to comply with safety regulations will result in their business being suspended. (NNT)