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DSI asked to step in and investigate multimillion baht street lamp project

Tanutam Thawan

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Stock photo via Wikimedia Commons

Following the ongoing controversy of hundreds of millions of baht spent by local officials on expensive street lamps, the Department of Special Investigation has been asked to step in and investigate the projects in the Racha Thewa subdistrict of Samut Prakan, just outside Bangkok.

The National Anti-Corruption Commission is also establishing 5 panels to investigate the lamp project, a probe ordered by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, and more than 20 people and local government officials, including the former Samut Prakan governor, are now being investigated by the commission.

The decorative solar-powered street lamps are adorned with a kinnaree, a Hindu and Buddhist mythological half-bird, half-human creature. The Racha Thewa subdistrict administrative organisation came under fire for spending 642.65 million baht on a recent project to install the lamps, placing them in some areas where there wasn’t a paved road. Reports say the SAO spent a total of around 900 million on the lamp posts since 2013. Despite the criticism, Racha Thewa officials approved a budget of 68.4 million baht to install another 720 decorative lamp posts.

Some local politicians filed a complaint today with the DSI asking for an investigation into alleged corruption and added that the Racha Thewa government ignored complaints from the public who spoke against plans to buy lamp posts. The SAO chairperson Songchai Nokkhamin says the lamp post purchases are legitimate.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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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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