Chadchart takes flak for freak floods in city

Chadchart takes flak for freak floods in city

Vehicles struggle amid swamped streets in Bangkok after Wednesday's heavy downpours. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Vehicles struggle amid swamped streets in Bangkok after Wednesday's heavy downpours. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

The heavy downpours on Wednesday night that crippled much of Bangkok have unleashed a torrent of criticism and counter-criticism of Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt's ability to fight the city's flooding problems.

Many of the city's roads were swamped after heavy rain that lasted for several hours. In some areas, the floodwater remained until Thursday morning.

Mr Chadchart admitted it was the heaviest rain since he won the governor election on May 22. He apologised for not acting quickly enough to deal with the widespread floods.

The governor said up to 160 millimetres of rain fell in Bangkok on Wednesday night, causing waterways, particularly Klong Lat Phrao, Klong Saen Saep, Klong Tan and Klong Phra Khanong, to rise rapidly.

Household rubbish waiting for collection had clogged drainage pipes.

The floods sent social media abuzz with comments both criticising and defending Mr Chadchart over his handling of the situation.

Observers warned Mr Chadchart that the floods could chip away at his popularity if the problem was not seen to be promptly or sufficiently contained.

Taking to his Facebook account, vocal activist Srisuwan Janya said in a sarcastic tone that Mr Chadchart stood every chance of rising above any criticism of his handling of one of Bangkok's heaviest floods this year, given his tremendous capability.

The governor should take it easy on his publicity stunt campaigns for a while and get down to the business of tackling the floods, said Mr Srisuwan who earlier accused Mr Chadchart of vote-buying by letting people collect his vinyl election campaign posters that could be converted into shopping bags or aprons and sold online.

But TV show host Lakkana Panwichai, better known as Kham Phaka, came out in Mr Chadchart's defence. Posting on her Facebook page, she said the floods stemmed from faulty city planning and that the problem could not be solved overnight.

She said the governor deserved praise for inspecting issues that affect the city.

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