Chao Phraya to be ‘river of culture’

Construction News

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is to initiate a Chao Phraya River rehabilitation project to preserve the river and local cultural sites.

Speaking at a seminar Thursday on preserving the Chao Phraya River as a national heritage symbol, city clerk Sanya Chenimit said the rehabilitation project will focus on the stretch of river running through Bangkok.

It will start from the Memorial Bridge to Tha Wasukri pier since several cultural heritage sites are situated along the banks between these two points.

According to a feasibility study, the river restoration plan will be split into four sections.

In the first, both the public and private sectors will help keep waterways connected to the Chao Phraya clean.

The second involves the renovation of buildings and structures along the riverbank.

The third will see riverside walkways, barriers and communities developed.

Lastly, cultural traditions that set each area apart will be preserved, Mr Sanya said.

Wanchai Thanomsak, director of City Planning Department, said more than 200 sites comprising old communities, religious sites, public and private landmarks were built along the Chao Phraya’s riverbank covering several districts.

The feasibility study revealed that every community would back the authorities and help support the rehabilitation project, Mr Wanchai added.

The BMA will also work with the Fine Arts Department on turning Chao Phraya riverside areas to become national heritage sites.

Meanwhile, around 1.4 billion baht has been set aside for the New Landmark of Thailand scheme, Mr Sanya said.

The scheme involves the construction of riverside paths running seven kilometres along both banks of the Chao Phraya between the Rama VII and Pin Klao bridges.

The project was initiated by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The budget will go toward the construction and demolition of structures, compensation for residents, public hearings, and consultancy work on surveys and designs.

Construction is expected to start in January 2016 and end in July 2017. Plans will be forwarded to the cabinet for approval by next week.