Highway District Office Breaks Promise After Paving Over Entire Canal on Superhighway

 | Wed 1 Nov 2017 10:11 ICT

CityNews – Chiang Mai citizens have filed a complaint against the Chiang Mai Highway District 2 Office after they broke an agreement to leave parts of the Rin Kham – Khuang Singh canal open for environmental and flood management reasons.

Protester holding a sign saying ‘What?!’ at City Hall

The Chiang Mai – Lampang superhighway expansion from the Rin Kham intersection to the Khuang Singh tunnel was brought to attention by Assoc Prof Dr Wasan Jompakdee, the President of Committee for Protection of Mae Ping and Environment on June this year who pointed out serious issues on possible floods and sewage mistreatment if the canal was covered entirely, which led to a protest against the project later that month.

On July 5th, Dr Wasan and fellow citizens involved came to a spoken agreement with the Chiang Mai Highway District 2 Office that they would not pave over the entire canal by leaving a total of 400m open air. These areas would include 150m in front of the Toyota Showroom, 200m in front of Department of Primary Industries and Mines Chiang Mai Provincial Office and a smaller stretch near Trams Condominium.

However, this week it was discovered that the Chiang Mai Highway District 2 Office had paved over the entire canal, breaking the spoken agreement. A complaint was issued to the Chiang Mai Municipality by Dr Wasan and Asst Prof Anuchart Thanunchai, asking for an immediate cease of operations while they investigate the broken agreement. They told CityNews that the department should have adhered to the gentleman’s agreement and that they are in contact with the Ministry of Transport and NCPO who may be able to help.