Port plan pitched to parties
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Port plan pitched to parties

Chadchart targets floods, pollution

Shipment containers are sorted at Bangkok Port last year. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Shipment containers are sorted at Bangkok Port last year. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

City Hall will pitch to those political parties canvassing for votes the idea of integrating Bangkok Port in Klong Toey with the Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chon Buri to lessen problems in the capital, including floods and air pollution.

According to Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, the relocation could reduce the number of trips by freight trucks entering and leaving Bangkok Port by at least a million a year, which would free up room on the roads and help to ease the level of PM2.5 pollution.

He said City Hall would propose to the parties ways of tackling Bangkok's flood problems by getting the port out of the capital, which would mean no more freight ships sailing up the river to hinder a future flood prevention project he has in store.

Mr Chadchart said the floods were caused largely by the high tide. If possible, water gates will be built around estuaries on the Chao Phraya River to stave off floods in the capital. However, that would not be feasible with freight ships still plying the river to and from Bangkok, he noted.

The governor said if the pitched idea was adopted by any parties that form the next government, it could become a state policy and make City Hall's job easier.

Mr Chadchart said other ideas he thought of pitching include opening up areas under expressways or on state land as hawker centres where street vendors can trade legally.

In London, where he visited recently, the governor said piers had been relocated to make way for public parks and low-income housing, which has helped ease the problem of crowded communities.

In the British capital, the River Thames Scheme (RTS) is taking shape as a new landscape-based approach to creating healthier, more resilient, and more sustainable communities by responding to the challenges of flooding, improving access to green open spaces and sustainable travel routes, encouraging inclusive economic growth, and increasing biodiversity.

Previously, the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) announced it was planning to put 32 rai of land at Bangkok Port up for commercial development as part of new logistical and commercial hubs over a 30-year concession.

Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate inspected the logistical/commercial hub project last year and found the PAT had recorded some progress in implementing a master plan for the development of Bangkok Port.

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