Bangkok cleanup: State railway clear rubbish on future elevated train line site

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post.

An assertive Bangkok cleanup approach has been taken by both the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) in conjunction with the State Railway of Thailand (SRT), to clear mounting rubbish clustered along the rail tracks in proximity to Phaya Thai. This follows a poignant post by a Japanese Twitter user which displayed the deplorable conditions encircling a Kiha-183 train, generously donated to Thailand by Japan for tourist service. The train was seen trundling through what seemed to be nothing more than a massive landfill.

Highlighted on Sunday by Twitter user @tabinezumiworld, the posting was a potent illustration of the wide economic discrepancy exemplified by the division between the rich and poor in Bangkok. It’s worth noting that the location under scrutiny is set to become the construction site for a novel elevated train line.

Captioning images shared, @tabinezumiworld wrote in both Japanese as well as Thai, that housing structures had recently faced demolition in preparation for this new railway project. Not only did he indicate an alarming presence of broken glass, fragments of concrete, and remnants of food, but also took a moment to reflect on when this waste will be gathered and properly disposed of.

He said…

“It is unsanitary and has a bad odour. I hope for a speedy resolution. I urge the Thai government, City Hall and SRT to take action.”

Making waves, his outcry was captured and amplified by Thailand Footpath Facebook page, quite a prominent platform with a hefty following of 300,000 digital users and subsequently was picked up by mass media outlets.

This sparked active engagement from Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt, who promptly took action by surveying the troubled site first-hand on Tuesday. The 57 year old governor of Bangkok, affirmed that the unsightly mounds of trash were remnants of approximately 100 discarded dwellings.

The recorded evictions of illegal settlements along a 1.2 kilometres stretch of rail line had occurred in the previous month for the construction of the Don Mueang-Suvarnabhumi-U-Tapao high-speed rail route, but the refuse simply remained on-site post-demolition.

In response to this, Ekkarat Sriarayanpong, head of the SRT governor’s office, informed the public that efforts to clean are already underway. The SRT, in conjunction with the BMA, had deployed a crew of 30 individuals tasked with the responsibility of restoring order to the area.

To expedite the Bangkok cleanup process, heavy machinery such as a backhoe tractor and multiple trucks became instrumental in efficiently removing and relocating all waste materials.

Furthermore, he indicated that the SRT has intentions to secure the area by erecting a fence and installing signage to dissuade trespassing to curb potential illegal dumping in the future, reported Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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