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Chao Phraya River project approved despite criticism


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Chao Phraya River project approved despite criticism

By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM
THE NATION

 

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BANGKOK: -- DESPITE CONCERNS over the legality and negative impacts on the waterway, the Chao Phraya Riverside Promenade Project has been authorised and construction is scheduled to begin before August, according to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA).

 

Academics have complained, however, that the approval was unfair because the new Navigation in Thai Waters Act, which comes into effect next month, would crack down on illegal waterway encroachment nationwide. They added that the promenade would narrow the river and disrupt water drainage and navigation.

 

The new act forbids structures such as houses, piers and promenades, which will affect millions of people.

 

Threat to sue

 

Taiwut Khankaew, director of the BMA’s Building Control Division, said the Chao Phraya promenade project had been authorised by all relevant agencies, including the Marine Department, and the BMA was in the process of assessing its budget before opening to contractor bidding.

 

“This project is part of the government policy to open access to the river for all of the people. The project has passed all necessary procedures such as the Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] and public hearings and received the permission to use the public land from all relevant agencies,” Taiwut said.

 

“We have all the permissions to build the promenade now. We just need to find a contractor in the bidding process next month and start construction in August. There is no reason to slow down the project.”

 

However, city planning expert Paranee Sawasdirak said it would be unjust if the project goes ahead while people’s houses and piers on the river have to be dismantled in line with the new Navigation in Thai Waters Act, because the government’s promenade project would also encroach on the waterway.

 

“The government stated that this project aims to reform the riverside land management and prevent river encroachment, but the government does the opposite thing and builds the promenade over the river and they encroach on the river themselves,” Paranee said.

 

“If the government carries on with this unfair law enforcement on people and finds exemptions in the same law to benefit their project, we will have no alternative but to sue authorities through the Administrative Court.”

 

Sitang Pilailar, a lecturer at the Water Resources Engineering Department Kasetsart University, also cautioned that the project would have a great impact on water drainage, especially during the flood season, and increase the chance of bigger floods in the Bangkok metropolitan area.

 

“From the engineering point of view, there is no limitation to build any structure. However, in reality we must consider the impacts of what we build. Even though this project has already passed its EIA, the EIA studied the project for only seven months and did not explore the impact of the promenade in the worst-case situation for flooding,” Sitang said.

 

She said that when she tested a model of the project on a computer she found that the Bangkok area would be at greater risk if the city faces a flood situation like in 2011.

 

“We cannot exactly predict how great a flood situation will be when we have the promenade over the river, when if the water volume in the river reaches the level of 3,000 to 4,000 cubic metres per second,” she said.

 

“There is a slim chance that Bangkok will face a big flood like 2011 again, but large structures on the waterway like this means a higher chance of a more severe disaster.”

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/news/national/30316336

 
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-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-05-26
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1 hour ago, fruitman said:

Nice! I hope they make it 2017 with plenty of green (old tree's which bloom) and places to walk around/sit in shade.

 

What about the new riverboats and routes?

You wont see any trees, only concrete and lots of expensive restaurants and shops.  Its all about making money.  A place for tourists only.

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9 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

Still can't figure out who is pushing this project? I assume it's someone associated with property and development looking to maximize their rental income on unused air, water and riverside space?

 

 

I don't care who's pushing it, sure there will be developers behind it but they are everywhere in BKK and without them no big projects would be done. 

BKK is not a very nice attractive city and the riverside can be made very nice if they all work together. It might be the start to develop all the riverbanks around Bangkok or even further. Would be awesome to have a long waterfront road where one can bike/walk/run at night on a perfect road under the tree's.

 

Will you also start complaining if they remove illegal houses from the riverbanks? 

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Still can't figure out who is pushing this project? I assume it's someone associated with property and development looking to maximize their rental income on unused air, water and riverside space?
 
 

The BMA have been pushing this for years. It has been heralded as a tourism stimulus by improving an already poorly accessible area of a busy tourist thoroughfare. Likely prayut will push ahead to complete phase 1 to take the credit. Like most other initiatives the environmental impact and feasibility seem to take a back seat. The design went out to competition in 2015 last I read about it, the emphasis was on open urban space and not much in the form of commercial development. It could be very nice, provided it is thought out. I like that area but I hate smelling other peoples laundry and zig zagging past bikes on the existing narrow boardwalks.
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Should look at who owns the land and the people who will benefit from the new laws.

 

The 2006 plan was stopped by Abhisit and the then Bangkok Governor as business people along the River would possibly loose trade or views. The water management plans have nothing to do with water flow.  

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Will you also start complaining if they remove illegal houses from the riverbanks? 

 

First off I wasn't really "complaining", I merely wondered who was pushing this project, and why? (I don't mean the BMA, or even the Junta, or if it's for locals or tourists.)

 

Honestly, I have no opinion one or the other on this project. The various "artist representations" (which weren't plagiarized) make it look "wonderful".

 

A large number of Thais seem to be against this project.

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12 hours ago, webfact said:

“If the government carries on with this unfair law enforcement on people

An unfair law is only unfair if its unconstitutional - and it's not under the 2017 Constitution.

Welcome to the People's Constitution that's unfair to the People. But a majority of voters approved it, albeit in ban on public opposition. Sad but more people need to challenge impacts of government projects if only to bring attention to people's real loss of rights and liberties brought by the new Constitution.

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Seoul improved a lot when they built their riverproject.

 

Chao-Praya looks terrible from the riverside, no development there except some factories and a few restaurants.

 

It can make BKK a lot more attractiv to asian tourists...but it has to be done well...not sure if the Thai can do it by western standard.

seoul-river.jpg

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34 minutes ago, wakeupplease said:

Someone up high filling his pockets again in where else but the land of the dead.

I know a place where they choosed a property developer for president.....the guy makes a million bucks a day and still wanted to become president.

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19 minutes ago, fruitman said:

I know a place where they chose a property developer for president.....the guy makes a million bucks a day and still wanted to become president.

Yep I agree an idiot who even p<<<<< our police and Security off opening their gobs b4 engaging their brains while they fight between themselves. So we said up you donald and your merry men no more info.

Sorry just having a laugh at you thinking I was American.

 

But you are so right too many watch Hollywood movies and what is even more sad they believe those movie stories.

 

I doubt he makes a mill a day and even you and I could make his money if Daddy gave us that kind of cash he had to start up.

 

There is more to life than money and green power, but idiots cannot see it.

 

But you and I, can I think

Edited by wakeupplease
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Sitang Pilailar, may be the voice of reason here. I think it may have been his boss that did the 2006 Flood Mitigation Plan for Bangkok, that was approved to be done. I believe the author of that plan has since died.

 

“We cannot exactly predict how great a flood situation will be when we have the promenade over the river, when if the water volume in the river reaches the level of 3,000 to 4,000 cubic metres per second,” she said. " Sounds as the current crop of officials have not thought this thru.

 

As this will be done by the current heads of state, they can't be prosecuted in the future as they have given each other a get out of goal free card. Putting a structure up, when your expert in flood mitigation is saying we don't know what will happen if this amount of water comes is a worry.

 

The Venice of the far east. Unfortunately this project may sink itself.

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3 hours ago, Chris Lawrence said:

current heads of state,

I think you mean Head of Government PM Prayut. There is no "heads" of State.

The Head of State is the King of Thailand.

The role of both positions in the governance of Thailand is currently defined by the 2017 Constitution.

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