Possible corruption in provincial lamp post procurements
Thailand’s netizens are sharing images of “fancy” lamp posts, with Thai sculptures on the top, in many rural areas. One of them is in Nakhon Si Thammarat and has led to a corruption probe by local authorities, according to the provincial anti-corruption agency.
Nakhon Si Thammarat province procured 108 lamp posts, for Karom Road in Pho-Sadet sub-district, with a budget of 10 million baht, as earlier reported by Thai PBS’s Thai-language service. The winning bidder bid an average of over 92,000 Baht per post, a price point which the public has found unreasonable.
The same project also covered 112 new street signs along one road in town, with a budget of over 2 million baht.
Nakhon Si Thammarat is not the only province with such suspicious “fancy” lamp post procurements. Netizens in Mukdahan province also widely shared images of Naka lamp posts, in a deserted part of a public park, which people on social media claim is an “unusable area”.
These 30 Naka lamp posts were part of a re-landscaping and dam construction project, authorized in 2016 in Sri-Bunrueng sub-district, with a total budget of 29 million baht.
The re-landscaping of the area with Naka lamp posts was finished in 2018, but the province has not handed over the project to the local administration to manage, resulting in a neglected public space, as can be seen today.
Other provinces which have seen similar fancy lamp posts being installed in the last few years are Phetchabun, Trang, Samut Prakan, Chainat and Chiang Rai, among others