Floods, pollution and cultural tourism addressed by Bangkok’s gubernatorial candidates
Bangkok gubernatorial election candidates Chadchart Sittipunt and the Democrat Party’s Suchatvee Suwansawat have been proposing solutions to environmental issues faced by the capital, such as flooding and PM2.5 pollution, less than two weeks before the highly anticipated local elections.
Former transport minister Chadchart, running as an independent, has suggested that a massive operation to unclog 3,000 kilometres of the capital’s drains is needed, to solve the perennial flooding problem. He visited inundated areas in the Lak Si and Don Mueang areas yesterday (Monday) following a downpour.
He said that the amount of rainfall in the two areas yesterday was measured at 73.5 mm, which is beyond the capacity of the drainage system to handle, resulting in flooding.
He pointed out that, even though a huge subterranean drainage pipe is operational and helps facilitate the flow of water, flooding is still reported in the narrow lanes in communities every time there is a heavy downpour, causing hardships for many.
The independent candidate admitted that more investment is needed for the replacement of drainage pipes with larger ones and installation of additional water pumps, among other things.
He also said that the height of some roads and lanes in low-lying areas must be increased and ponds or lakes in public parks should be used as water catchment areas, to store excess rainwater before it is drained into the main waterways.
Democrat’s Suchatvee toured the Bang Khae area today, where he highlighted his policy to combat PM2.5 dust in the atmosphere, with a plan to install about 2,000 monitoring stations, which would provide real-time data on dust pollution.
He also suggested that the Land Transport Department should get tough with the owners of vehicles which emit excessive smoke, by denying renewal of their annual road tax.
Meanwhile, former deputy Bangkok governor, Sakoltee Phattiyakul, who is running as an independent candidate, attempted to woo voters in Bangkok Noi, Bangkok Yai, Phasi Charoen and Taling Chan districts today with his idea for cultural tourism promotion. This would involve taking advantage of the city’s various waterways as a means of travel and the promotion of historical sites in these districts.
He said that tourists can gain new experiences by observing the ways of life of people living along the canals, while spending nights at various homestays in the districts.