11 July 2024

Bangkok MP Sira Jenjakha has vented his frustration over what he alleges is Bangkok Governor Aswin Kwanmuang’s indifference to the suffering of the city’s residents due to flooding every time there is heavy rain, Sira demanded that Aswin step down, to pave way for someone more competent.

The Palang Pracharat MP is referring to the widespread inundation of Bangkok on Friday night, which caused gridlock across the city and stranded tens of thousands of commuters at bus stops and metro stations, as they waited for hours to board buses or trains for home.

Sira said he wondered where Governor Aswin was, when he was needed last night to address the flooding, “or should we report him as a missing person?” he asked.

He said that he does not want any more excuses from the Governor, adding that the people in Bangkok expect action and advance planning to deal with flooding, not a policy of leaving the people suffer and solve the problem themselves.

“As I said before, Governor Aswin is indifferent to the people’s hardship because he was not elected” he said, adding that he would ask Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to speed up the election of a new Governor, so that there will be an elected official who is answerable to the people.

Meanwhile, Former Transport Minister Chatchart Sitthipant, who will run for city governor on an independent ticket, said in his Facebook post today that accumulated rainfall in Bangkok, for the 24 hours including last night, amounted to 900mm, which is considered a very large volume, especially in central business zones, such as Silom, Sukhumvit and Sathorn.

Addressing flooding in the city must involve the whole drainage system, including pipes, water pumps, removal of garbage blocking drainage down to the giant water tunnel system.

Chatchart said he went out to observe the flooding in Sukhumvit Soi 53 and Soi 26 and found a lot of garbage blocking the flow of water into the drainage system.

Even with a big water tunnel, it will not help if water is prevented from flowing into the road drains by trash, he said, adding that addressing the flood problem may not be as exciting as a mega project, “but it is at the heart of problem solving.”