‘Scrap it’: Residents oppose bridge over Chao Phraya
Villagers in Nonthaburi are protesting against a plan to build a new bridge across the Chao Phraya River near Sanambin Nam Road and threatening to bring the issue to the Administrative Court if the government proceeds with the project.
The controversial bridge, proposed by the Rural Roads Department as a way to relieve traffic congestion, was yesterday greeted with fierce opposition by residents of Prachaniwet 3 community who argued it would have a severe impact on their “small city”.
Prachaniwet 3 is not just a residential area. It also houses many schools and state agency offices. Big changes, including land expropriation, will lead to problems, residents’ representative Phatthana Phanyothin told a public hearing yesterday.
“We oppose the project and want the department to scrap it,’’ he said.
Residents are prepared to file a lawsuit with the Administrative Court next month against the department and its consultancy firms for not working in line with the regulations set by the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Phatthana said.
Locals accuse the authorities of not informing people of the project in detail, especially those who live near the construction sites. A source from one of the consultancy firms, who attended the public hearing, said the mounting opposition may kill the project.
The bridge is planned as part of 10.1km road linking Wat Buakhan, a temple on Ngam Wong Wan Road, and Sanambin Nam Road with Nonthaburi’s tambon Tha It and a section of Rachaphruek Road on the other side of the river.
The construction sites also include part of Prachaniwet 3, where up to 200 houses would have to relocated, the source said.
The Rural Roads Department plans to hold another public hearing on Oct 8.
The department will take into account residents’ opinions, the potential environmental impact and whether the project is a worthwhile investment before deciding on its fate, officials said.
If it proceeds the consultants will calculate the estimated cost, including how much the government must pay to expropriate the land.