Protest against asphalt factory in Udon

Protest against asphalt factory in Udon

About 300 villagers, including sudents, protest in front of an asphalt factory in Udon Thani's Kumphawapi district on Tuesday, accusing it of emitting a foul smell and generating dust. (Photo: Yuttapong Kumnodnae)
About 300 villagers, including sudents, protest in front of an asphalt factory in Udon Thani's Kumphawapi district on Tuesday, accusing it of emitting a foul smell and generating dust. (Photo: Yuttapong Kumnodnae)

UDON THANI: About 300 people protested in front of an asphalt factory in Kumphawapi district on Tuesday, complaining about the smell and the dust kicked up by trucks coming and going.

The protesters were from five villages in tambon Pakho, and included students from Ban Pakho School and Kumphawapi Vocational College.

The asphalt factory, owned by CSP LP, is beside Kumphawapi Vocational College on the east side of the Mitraparp highway.

The protest started about 10am, with people complaining about the unpalatable smell of hot tar emitted during asphalt production all day and night.

Moreover, trucks coming and going from the factory sent up thick clouds of dust that settled over the area.

The shoulders of the Mitraparp highway in front of the factory had become parking spaces for trucks, affecting passage of traffic on the highway.

Prasit Thongrassamee, director of the vocational college, said the school suffered severely  from both the smell and dust, particularly now the factory was operating around the clock to increase productivity after the Covid-19 lockdown was eased.

The demonstrators called for the factory to be closed and relocated far away from their community.

A number of officials were at the protest site to hear their grievances. They included Chalalai Sappracha, director of the Udon Thani Damrongtham Centre, Boonlert Jaiman, chairman of the Pakho tambon administration organisation and representatives from the provincial industry and public health offices.

Factory managers also came out for talks with the officials.

It was initially agreed that the Pakho TAO would issue an order under the Public Health Act for the factory to suspend its operation for 15 days, to make improvements.

The protesters agreed to disperse about noon, but vowed to return if the factory dos not act to solve the problems as it had promised.


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