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Despite corruption allegations, street lamp project continues in Samut Prakan

Tanutam Thawan

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Photo via Facebook / @Watchdog.ACT

High-priced decorative lamp posts purchased by local governments have been in the public eye for possible corruption and heavily criticised. The lamp posts, equipped with solar cells and adorned with mythical and traditional Thai figures, have been seen as extravagant purchases during the pandemic. Several provinces are being investigated by the National Anti-Corruption Commission over the purchases of overpriced street lamps.

Despite being under fire for what some say is inappropriate spending of government funds and possible corruption, Samut Prakan’s Racha Thewa tambon, just outside Bangkok, is moving forward with the controversial project and approved another 68 million baht to install an additional 720 street lamps.

The Racha Thewa tambon administrative organisation’s administration’s first exorbitant purchase 642 million baht budget for thousands of fancy solar-powered street lamps, topped with Buddhist mythical figures. The project caught the attention of residents and promoted the commission’s investigation into possible corruption.

Mayor Songchai Nokkamin says the installation of lamp posts is part of a local development plan, adding that street lighting is needed in some areas. Reports and photos show several of the fancy street lamps paced in areas where there is no paved road.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

 

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Local Thai journalist speaking fluent Thai and English. Tanutam studied in Khon Kaen before attending Bangkok’s Chulalongkhorn University.

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