Shenanigans at Scar of Doi Suthep, Claims Protesters
CityNews – On the 1st October, in front of the office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), Theerasak Rupsuwan, coordinator for the network to revive Doi Suthep, handed documents to the NACC and asked the office to investigate his multiple claims of corruption involving the construction of the so-called Scar of Doi Suthep.
According to the complaint, one of the senior members of the judiciary in charge of the project is a close personal friend with the man who owned Gateway Architect, the architectural company which won the main bid. It is believed that the bidding was not transparent and the protesting network demanded to see the process of the bidding. Two bids in particular, one for design consultancy (contract 79/2554) worth 3.5 million baht and the other for additional construction (contract 91/2558) worth 9.8 million baht, ended up with long delays as well as many later changes details of which have not been made public.
Delays have gone on for over three years, claim the network, mainly due to the fact that the steep topography wasn’t taken into account in the initial stages of design.
The protesting network demanded a full accounting and explanation of the bidding process, the delays and construction changes.
They also say that with the 9 residences and 64 units valued at 342 million baht, there were 24 companies who bought the rights to bid, with four finally bidding. All of that information has been readily available. Yet, when it came to the second contract for additional houses valued at 321 million baht, signed in 2014, and the third bid for the office of the 5th Region Judge valued at 290 million in the same year, no information has been made public, especially as to how many companies placed their bid and what the bids were. The protesters say that they are suspicious as the same company who openly won the first bid appears to have also won the second and third, yet wonder why was no information published.
According to contracts, all construction must have been finalised by June of this year, said the protesting group, yet the contract has continued to be extended, with companies paying 350,000 baht per day, or 25 million baht so far. Whether this money has been paid as per contract is unknown.