BANGKOK — Disabled rights activists rallied Thursday to petition the Administrative Court to probe why City Hall has not satisfied a high court order to make the BTS Skytrain accessible.
Two and a half years after they won a landmark case against the rail system’s management, the group returned to press for action by the court. By City Hall’s own admission, it has made only 37 percent progress on installing the necessary elevators and facilities at the original 23 stations.
“So we petitioned the court to examine whether it’s really even 37 percent,” said Sonthipong Mongkonsawat, an attorney representing the group. “And do they have a good reason for why they can’t get it done?”
In January, on the second anniversary of their 2015 court victory, the group filed a class-action lawsuit seeking compensation from City Hall because, despite ruling against the city, the Supreme Administrative Court said it could not penalize the responsible officials.
But regulations issued Jan. 25 gave the activists cause to press action. The new rules dictated that officials proven to have neglected court orders or delayed their implementation without due cause can be fined up to 50,000 baht.
As the regulations stipulate, Sonthipong said they have also asked the court to notify the prime minister and Interior Ministry, which oversees City Hall, to determine punishment.
In March, Bangkok Gov. Aswin Kwanmuang promised all stations would be fully equipped by the end of the year, meaning the construction will have taken three years to complete if his promise is kept.
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