Promenade to go ahead without EIA

Construction News

Onep to give advice on Chao Phraya plan

An environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a new riverside promenade, the so-called New Landmark of Thailand project is not neccessary, the government says.

Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (Onep) secretary-general Kasemsun Chinnavaso said Wednesday the 14km project which will run between the Rama VII and Pin Klao bridges along the banks of the Chao Phraya River does not meet the criteria for needing an EIA.

Mr Kasemsun said the project is not considered harmful to the environment or people, unlike other projects which do require EIA studies under environmental law.

He said the project only involves construction of a promenade along the river and it comes under building control laws enforced by the Interior Ministry.

However, he said Onep is duty-bound to give advice to those who will draft the project’s blueprint to ensure its construction will not have an impact on the view of Rattanakosin Island, the historic centre of Bangkok.

He said Onep also works as the secretary of a committee on conservation and development of Rattanakosin Island, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon.

“I cannot go into more details about the project as I have yet to receive its blueprint. What I can say now is that there is no need [for us]  to conduct an EIA study,” he said.

Several versions of the proposed promenade have emerged, including this romantic view provided last February by the Department of Public Works.

The Chao Phraya promenade was initiated by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha based on his impressions of South Korea’s Han River comprehensive development project consisting of a series of parks, footpaths and recreational areas.

The second phase of the project will run from the Rama VII to Phra Nang Klao bridges.

According to reports, the project involves the construction of a 19.5-metre-wide structure along both banks of the river.

The structures will be designed to cater for pedestrians and cyclists. The approved budget for the Chao Phraya landmark project is 14 billion baht for a development that covers 14km.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula said Wednesday nothing would change in the proposed development plan for the Orange Line railway link in the east linking the Thailand Cultural Centre to Min Buri.

MR Pridiyathorn spoke after the Commission for Management of Land Traffic’s meeting which he chaired at Government House.

He said participants agreed the proposed route which runs from the Pracha Songkhro community to the Thailand Cultural Centre has already passed an EIA study and several public hearings had voted for the link to be built.

“Whatever the plans are, people stand to be affected,” he said, adding there was no need to change the plan.

Previously, an MRTA panel approved a resolution for switching routes for the Orange Line from the Pracha Songkhro community to the Thailand Cultural Centre to Din Daeng-Rama 9 Road.

MR Pridiyathorn said the Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand (MRTA) would delay negotiating with those who would be affected by the construction while ensuring the public was informed about the project.

The MRTA panel was concerned the route would affect many people as it will pass through communities and a university.