Probe underway into yet another case of controversial ‘fancy’ lamp posts
Officials from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) in Thailand’s eastern province of Sa Kaeo have launched an investigation into the installation of fancy lamp posts in their area, following the discovery of similar lamp posts being installed in many other provinces last year.
The posts, topped with the half bird half human Kinnara figurine, were installed very close to each other along a 100-metre stretch of a small road, which runs beside the Phra Sathueng Canal, and their bases were covered with thick grass. The project is said to have been worth 10.5 million baht and it was completed in 2017.
The director of the Sa Kaeo NACC Office and his officials conducted a field inspection of the fancy lamp posts yesterday (Wednesday), following social media posts questioning the project.
He told the media that, even though no one has lodged a formal complaint about the project, which belongs to the provincial civil works and town planning office, his office is authorised to investigate everything, from the procurement process to the approval and acceptance of its delivery.
The watchdog official said that the lamp posts were installed too close together, which might indicate irregularities, adding that the investigation will not take more than three months.
Meanwhile, the vice mayor of Muang district said that some of the posts will be relocated to the provincial public park, near the municipal office.
Fancy lamp posts have been found in municipal areas of several provinces and most of them were located along deserted roads and eventually became unusable due to lack of maintenance.
The most controversial fancy lamp post project is in areas under the jurisdiction of Racha Thewa Tambon (sub-district) Administrative Organization (TAO), in Samut Prakan province, which has spent about 940 million baht on them over several years.
The case is currently also being investigated by the Office of the Auditor-General.