Klong Toey slum's days numbered
Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate has vowed to mend the notorious image of Klong Toey slum communities with the construction of a "smart community" set to begin next year.
"Next year will be the start of the development of a new commercial complex," he said during a visit to the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) on Wednesday.
PAT is planning to modernise Bangkok port and nearby areas, parts of which have been encroached upon by poor people.
Besides the commercial areas, officials will allocate 58 rai of land to build four high-rise condominiums for encroachers and low-income earners.
Mr Atirat threw his support behind the project and stressed its construction should start as soon as next year.
"The word 'slum' must disappear from Thai society eventually," he said.
According to the PAT, four 25-storey buildings, with a total of 6,144 units, will be built in Soi Trimitr off Rama IV Road at a cost of 7.5 billion baht. A new school, commercial buildings and shops will also be built in their vicinity.
The facilities are specifically aimed to serve the trespassers who will be evicted from PAT-owned areas.
Its latest survey found up to 13,000 families in 31 communities have settled in illegally. They include five communities which live under sections of an expressway.
"We expect to start building the condos this year," PAT chief Kamolsak Promprayoon said.
The residents will have new rooms, each covering 33 square metres.
If they do not want to rent the condos, the PAT will give them other options, he said.
The project will be a mixed-use complex like "Iconsiam", Mr Kamolsak said.