Minburi Residents Protest Saen Saeb Boat Route

PM Yingluck Shinawatra visiting Minburi's section of Saen Saeb Canal, 20 September 2013

(17 October) A group of residents of Minburi district have demanded that the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) suspend its boat route along Saen Saeb Canal in the district due to the damage caused to the canal′s banks.

Speaking at Parliament House, Mr. Vichan Minchainant, a Pheu Thai MP, said he has received many complaints from the residents who live on the canal′s stretch of Bang Chan to Minburi market that the passing boats have caused erosion to the canal′s bank, threatening the safety of their residences and shops.

Mr. Vichan said the boats were part of a test run organised by the BMA which was supposed to have lasted only 6 months, but it has been 8 months and the boats are still running. He alleged that the residents have complained to the BMA many times, only to be ignored.

He added that he had discussed the issue with Senate Committee on Consumer Protection, the Marine Department, the BMA, and the Ministry of Transport.

The MP proposed that the Bangkok authority slow its boats along the three-kilometre stretch and organise a navigational plan that would not affect the local residents. Mr. Vichan also urged the Marine Department to renew the license of the operating boats, which has expired two months ago, and demanded that the BMA pay compensation to the residents.

If the BMA refuses to respond to the residents? complaint by 18 October, Mr. Vichan said, he will proceed with a legal action against the authority.

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