BMA mulls river promenade uni study

Panel calls for project bid­ding to be scrapped


The Bangkok Met­ro­pol­i­tan Ad­min­is­tra­tion (BMA) is con­sid­er­ing hir­ing a univer­sity to con­duct a fea­si­bil­ity study for the Chao Phraya promenade project, or the so­called New Land­mark of Thai­land.

The 14-bil­lion-baht promenade will span seven kilo­me­tres on both sides of the river be­tween the Rama VII and Pin Klao bridges.

Pinit Ler­tu­dom­tana, deputy chief of the BMA’s Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works, who is also the chair­man of the panel re­spon­si­ble for award­ing bid­ding con­tract for the project, said yes­ter­day the panel had pro­posed the can­cel­la­tion of the bid to BMA ex­ec­u­tives.

The panel had also pro­posed a new plan of hir­ing an ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tute to act as an ad­viser for the project and con­duct a fea­si­bil­ity study for it in­stead of a con­trac­tor, he added.

Ear­lier, two of the three con­trac­tors that had ex­pressed an in­ter­est in bid­ding for the rights to the fea­si­bil­ity study had with­drawn from the race be­fore the bid­ding even started. As only one bid has been sub­mit­ted, the panel was forced to pro­pose the can­cel­la­tion to BMA ex­ec­u­tives.

The move came af­ter pro­fes­sional ar­chi­tect net­works led by the Coun­cil of Ar­chi­tects of Thai­land (CAT) yes­ter­day called on the BMA to re­vise a terms of ref­er­ence (TOR) doc­u­ment that spec­i­fies hir­ing a con­sul­tant firm to work on the study and de­sign of the project.

CAT pres­i­dent Jetkamjorn Phromyothe­e, who led a meet­ing yes­ter­day, said the net­works do not op­pose the plan but they want ev­ery step of the de­sign work to be car­ried out in com­pli­ance with ac­cept­able stan­dards to en­sure safety.

He was speak­ing yes­ter­day at the meet­ing at­tended by ar­chi­tects and aca­demics from the As­so­ci­a­tion of Si­amese Ar­chi­tects un­der the Royal Pa­tron­age of His Majesty the King, the Thai Ur­ban De­sign­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, the Thai As­so­ci­a­tion of Land­scape Ar­chi­tects, and the Thai­land In­te­rior De­sign­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Oth­ers present were the Coun­cil of Deans of Ar­chi­tec­ture Schools of Thai­land and Chu­la­longkorn Univer­sity’s Depart­ment of Ur­ban and Re­gional Plan­ning Depart­ment.

Mr Jetkhamjor­n said the TOR doc­u­ment is de­signed for road con­struc­tion rather than the city’s pub­lic spa­ces.

The de­vel­op­ment of the Chao Phraya promenade re­quires ar­chi­tec­tural ex­perts and en­gi­neers with ex­per­tise in dam and wa­ter man­age­ment, he added.

Mr Jetkhamjor­n is call­ing on the gov­ern­ment and the BMA, which oversee the project’s con­struc­tion, to al­low for ex­perts’ con­tri­bu­tions.

The net­works had sub­mit­ted ad­vice on study and de­sign work to the BMA for con­sid­er­a­tion, but the agency seemed to dis­re­gard them, he added.

Pichai Wong­waisayawan, pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Si­amese Ar­chi­tects, said the net­works had agreed to pro­pose three re­vi­sions to the TOR.

In re­sponse to the ex­perts’ ad­vice, Mr Pinit said yes­ter­day his sub­or­di­nates had sought help from Chu­la­longkorn Univer­sity’s fac­ulty of ar­chi­tec­ture.

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