Klong to gain new lease on life

PHUKET TOWN: A plan to clean up and beautify eight kilometers of the Klong Bangyai waterway was launched today at a meeting between local authorities and six American representatives from Portland, Oregon. Over the next two years, a plan will be prepared that could see the klong turned into a boating attraction for tourists as well as ensuring that its water is clean year-round. The party of six from the city of Portland attended the meeting at the Phuket Merlin Hotel with more than 250 Thai delegates as part of the CityLinks program, which aims to “improve the quality of local governments and strengthen democracy through international municipal partnerships”. The Bangyai Canal Reclamation Project will take two years to plan and three years to put into action, Phuket Town Mayor Phummisak Hongsyok told the three-hour meeting. The 20-kilometer-long klong, dug more than 100 years ago to speed transport and trade, meanders from Kathu to Rassada. It has been in decline since road transport became a more efficient option. Its public banks are sometimes occupied by low-grade housing. Water hyacinths choke and pollute the canal in the dry season. The project will concentrate on the eight kilometers of canal that run in and around Phuket Town. Also at today’s meeting were representatives from Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, and Rayong, where the US Agency for International Development (USAID) also has CityLink projects.

Phuket News
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