Bangkok governor candidates yesterday promised to turn Bangkok into a friendly city for the disabled if they are elected.
Candidates for the Bangkok governor election gather for a group handshake at the Thai-Japanese Youth Centre in Din Daeng district yesterday. There are 24 contenders competing for the post of Bangkok governor, with the election set for March 3. PATTARAPONG CHATPATTARASILL
At a debate on cultural aspects of the city hosted by Silpakorn University yesterday, members of the Bangkok wheelchair club called on the governor candidates to outline their policies for the disabled.
Former Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra said he would increase access to basic facilities.
He said he would install wheelchair ramps in 350 spots each year. Every skytrain station would also have an elevator, he said.
MR Sukhumbhand also promised to have 100 specially adapted meter taxis for the disabled available in the city within a year.
"I believe that if everyone has access to public facilities, many good things will follow automatically," said MR Sukhumbhand.
Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen said the city needed to have a special department to take care of disabled people's interests in areas such as transportation, education and career choices.
He would start by identifying where there are facilities for the disabled in all of Bangkok's 2,580 communities.
This will give officials a better idea of how to improve these facilities he said.
"I admit facilities [for the disabled] today are not up to scratch," Pol Gen Pongsapat said.
He said he would like to upgrade facilities in Bangkok to be kinder towards the disabled. Footpaths, for example, must be even and safe to use.
Kosit Suvinijjit agreed that Bangkok needed a specific department to take care of disabled issues.
He said most developers tend not to take disabled people into consideration when drawing up their plans.
He said he will not only provide more disabled-friendly facilities but will also create more jobs for them.
Former police chief Sereepisuth Temeeyaves said he was concerned about facilities for the disabled as well.
He said Bangkok would have many upgraded facilities to help the disabled within a year if he is elected.
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Writer: Paritta Wangkiat