Department of Special Investigation to probe BMA water Tunnels

Construction News

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will probe allegations of graft and ineffectiveness in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s multi-billion-baht Rama IX-Ramkhamhaeng “giant tunnel” and six other water drainage facilities, DSI chief Tharit Pengdit announced yesterday.

 The investigation is in response to a request submitted to the DSI by Pheu Thai Party spokesman Prompong Nopparit against the Democrat-led city government.

 Prompong alleges there was corruption and bid-rigging involved in the construction of the giant tunnel and drainage tunnels at Sukhumvit Soi 26, Khlong Prem Prachakorn, Phaya Thai, Sukhumvit Soi 36, Sukhumvit Soi 42 and Bung Makkasan.

 Prompong said an inspection by Pheu Thai officials found that some of the tunnels did not function properly while others, despite being completed since April, have yet to be tested.

 Pheu Thai had earlier questioned the effectiveness of the tunnels while chastising the BMA over the repeated flooding of city streets this rainy season.

 Tharit said the DSI’s corruption prevention and suppression centre would investigate the case and invite Prompong today (October 5) to give evidence and directions to the problematic spots.

 Making further allegations of flood mismanagement by the BMA, the Pheu Thai spokesman said the police and the Corrections Department have dredged storm sewers that the BMA was supposed to have cleaned. He said there 300 to 400 locations targeted for dredging, but the city only cleaned 30 or 40 drains.

 Storm sewers in such areas as Hua Mark, Phra Khanong and Bang Na were found to be clogged with garbage and sandbags |from last year’s floods, Prompong said.

 Pheu Thai Bangkok MP Jirayu Huangsap said the party’s anti-corruption office assigned its Bangkok councillors and district councillors to inspect all 50 districts to determine which pipes were dredged by the BMA and which ones were cleaned by the Corrections Department. More than half were dredged by the Corrections Department, Jirayu said, and a report of the findings would be submitted to the DSI next week.

Meanwhile, the DSI Special Case Committee will discuss if it will take up an investigation into the BMA’s extension of the Skytrain contract. Prompong said he would follow it closely and plans to file a complaint with the DSI against Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paripatra and Deputy Governor Teerachon Manomaipibul.


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