Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and State Railway of Thailand Respond to Social Media Outcry
A joint effort by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has been initiated to clean up rubbish along rail tracks near Phaya Thai. The response comes after a Japanese netizen posted pictures of a Kiha-183 train, donated by Japan for tourism purposes, passing by what appeared to be a dump site in the area.
Social Media Reaction
The Twitter user @tabinezumiworld shared the image on Sunday, commenting on the stark contrast between the wealthy and impoverished communities in Bangkok. The area in question is intended for the construction of a new elevated train line. The netizen also noted the presence of broken glass, concrete pieces, and leftover food, raising concerns about sanitation and the foul smell in the area. They urged the Thai government, City Hall, and SRT to take action.
The post gained further attention when ThailandFootpath Facebook, which has over 300,000 followers, shared it. The issue was subsequently picked up by mass media.
Official Inspection and Response
On Tuesday, Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt inspected the area himself in response to the public outcry. He explained that the piles of garbage were a result of the demolition of about 100 homes of local communities living illegally along a 1.2 km stretch of track. The demolition occurred last month to make way for the construction of the Don Mueang-Suvarnabhumi-U-Tapao high-speed rail route. However, the rubbish had been left unattended since then.
Ekkarat Sriarayanpong, head of the SRT governor’s office, announced that the SRT and BMA had deployed a 30-strong team to clean up the area. The team used a backhoe tractor and trucks to remove and transport the waste. Additionally, SRT plans to set up a fence and display “no trespassing” signs to deter intruders and prevent further littering.
Ongoing Efforts to Maintain Cleanliness
With the joint efforts of BMA and SRT, residents and tourists alike can expect a cleaner railway area in the near future. This action demonstrates the authorities’ commitment to addressing concerns raised by the public and highlights the impact of social media in instigating change.