Bangkok’s plan to become the Venice of the East… again

Photo via BMA Data Centre

Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt yesterday met with the Federation of Thai Industries president to plan a grand project to turn the Hua Lamphong Canal into an example of the Venice of the East, an oft-mentioned nickname for Bangkok in the past.

The 56 year old Chadchart met with Kriengkrai Thiennukul to discuss a solution to improving the city’s water quality, creating a Bangkok ‘Sandbox’ around the Chao Phraya River, and turning the capital’s polluted network of canals into a picturesque scene reminiscent of an Italian Renaissance painting.

Chadchart selected Hua Lamphong Canal, in the Klong Toey district, out of Bangkok’s 1,126 canals, to kick off the project. The canal is about 1 kilometre long and connects to the Chao Phraya River. The city chief says the canal will act as the model for other canal resurrections in Bangkok.

But, to realise the Venice of the East dream, over 5,000 factories in Bangkok need to follow new greener environmental policies. Currently, although city officials have promised better enforcement of canal polluters, there have been few improvements in the rubbish thrown and pumped in the klongs so far.

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Kriengkrai backed the city’s new governor revealing the Klong Toey community has been selected and will be developed as a Bio-Circular-Green Economic Model. The 62 year old added the district’s dead spaces would be improved alongside the canal clean-up to benefit people in the community.

Agricultural industries are being encouraged to get onboard with the project and operate as a Smart Agriculture Industry to enhance the city and its environment.

The Klong Toey slum, located near Bangkok Port, is regarded as the city’s largest slum area, although it neighbours glitzy and up-scale Sukhumvit. Residents in Klong Toey have lived in squalor for years and investment is desperately needed to rid the area of its crime, grime, and drugs image.

In 2016, the Port Authority of Bangkok proposed a Smart Community project to level up the quality of life of people living in the Klong Toey community. Little happened. Now the project plans to construct 4 new buildings, 25-floors high, offering 6,144 units for people to live in.

The project is in the planning and design stage, and construction is expected to start next year and be completed before 2035.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Prachachart | Bangkokbiznews

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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