Bangkok governor defends handling of Klong Ong Ang amid criticism

Picture courtesy of ThaiPost

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt stood firm on Saturday against criticism aimed at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and its handling of Klong Ong Ang in the Samphanthawong district. The BMA found itself on the receiving end of accusations of abandonment, with critics arguing that the area had been left to deteriorate.

Chadchart staunchly refuted these claims, reinforcing that the district had not been forgotten, as suggested. Klong Ong Ang, after undergoing extensive landscape development under the administration of the previous governor, Police General Aswin Kwanmuang, had gained recognition as a city landmark. The area buzzes with activity during the walking street events held there every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Nevertheless, recent criticisms have centred on the apparent declining conditions around the canal. Reports of homeless individuals occupying the pathways and a general lack of maintenance towards walking street activities have sparked concern.

Chadchart responded with the belief that importing vendors from regions outside of the area would do little to benefit the local community. Instead, he proposed focusing on cultivating the area’s unique identity to draw in visitors, much like the appeal of Pak Klong Talat and Talat Noi.

“We must figure out how to rejuvenate the area. We’re not neglecting it. Instead, we are expanding it to Klong Bang Lamphu. The community has to find its strengths.”

Bangkok Deputy Governor Sanon Wangsrangboon voiced his belief that the local community should take the reins in organising activities, with the BMA playing a supportive role. He suggested that if initiatives were driven by those who live and work around the canal, sustainability would be more likely, reported Bangkok Post.

He also mentioned that the Pohchang Academy of Art, Mega Plaza, and the Indian Association of Thailand have shown interest in hosting activities. However, he confirmed that the BMA would continue to host key events such as the Songkran and Loy Krathong celebrations.

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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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