PM orders upgrade work on Benjakitti Park sped up

PM orders upgrade work on Benjakitti Park sped up

Deadline is Queen Mother's birthday

People relax at Benjakitti Park in Bangkok last month. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)
People relax at Benjakitti Park in Bangkok last month. (Photo: Nutthawat Wicheanbut)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed relevant agencies to expedite the further development of Benjakitti Forest Park ahead of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother's birthday celebrations on Aug 12.

He issued the instruction at a meeting to discuss the renovation of the "green" bridge which connects Benjakitti and Lumpini parks, which was attended by Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, as well as officials from the Mass Rapid Transit Authority (MRTA) and Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTSC). The meeting discussed a number of issues, including improvements to public transport connections, pavements along the route, as well as parking spaces for visitors.

MRTA and BTSC officials were present at the meeting as Gen Prayut wanted Bangkok parks to be more accessible through the city's electric rail network.

Once finished, the 1.6-kilometre link will feature an elevated park, dedicated bike lanes and rest stops for visitors, according to its blueprint. The bridge is slated to reopen in September.

After the meeting, Gen Prayut said he was pleased to meet Mr Chadchart at the meeting, adding he admired the various ideas which he has proposed to improve the capital.

"Once the development is completed, the public will reap many benefits [from the park]. It could even be a place to hold major gatherings in the future," he said.

The park's development is part of the government's effort to increase the amount of public green space in the capital to an internationally acceptable standard.

More than 600,000 people have visited Benjakitti Forest Park since its partial opening. Entry records showed around 3,000 people visited the park on weekdays, while about 6,000 came at weekends.

The bridge's renovation is overseen by the Treasury Department and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

Gen Prayut also said Thailand is ready to host this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, saying that many meetings, including working panel, senior officials and ministerial meetings, have already been held ahead of the main event.

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