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Pattaya Daily News

21 September 2010 :: 13:09:00 pm 39613

Protesters Gather at 2nd Meeting of Pattaya Monorail Proposal

A gathering of local residents and business owners formed to voice their opposition of the proposed Pattaya monorail network marred the second feasibility meeting of administrators at the Royal Cliff Resort on Tuesday.
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Pattaya, the 20th of September 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Gathered in front of the Royal Cliff Resort, a contingent of local residents, small business owners and concerned citizens met to protest the proposed Pattaya sky-train (monorail) project announced earlier this month.

The seminar, held between local administrators, consultants and contractors, was held to promote the proposed monorail project and further discuss the feasibility of the network and its impact on the community.

The proposed network will include a 6km monorail system running the length of Pattaya 2nd Road incorporating 5 stations and an additional 4.3km development incorporating stations and a maintenance and construction facility heading towards Sukhumvit and Chaiphornvitee Roads.

Pattaya Administrative Assistant Mr. Sunthorn Rattanawaraha, chairing the seminar, advised that the meeting was organised to further hear research team evaluations on the project, its benefit to the community and public transport in the city.

Announced at Tuesday’s meeting was the appointment of 2 consultancy firms on the project, Chotjinda Muchell Consultant ltd and Tesco ltd. The parameters set for both consultancy firms to examine include;

– Proposal of a suitable system to be used in the project

– Elementary designs for the network and involved utilities

– Environmental and community impact assessments

– Public and local business opinion surveys

Mr. Rattanawaraha advised the seminar that the construction of a monorail system in Pattaya was to the benefit of the local community, businesses and visiting tourists, and was a necessary step in the development and upgrading of the city’s public transport network.

Acknowledging opposition to the project, Mr. Rattanawaraha, stated that ‘public hearing’ on the major project will become a major part in the decisional processes in future. Adding that opposition is inevitable in such major projects, urging the community to be patient and wait for the complete proposal to be formulated by the development team before formulating their objections.

Reportedly, the Pattaya City Hall administrators are considering other propositions, such as a light-rail (tram) system, should the majority of involved administrations and the community reject the sky-train proposal or should it be deemed infeasible.

At the center of protesters concerns, voiced by Mr. Surat Mekawarajun (Banglamung Culture Congress Chairman), is the environmental and business impact of the proposed development. Concerns include;

– Noise pollution of the network

– Obstruction of views and negative look of the system

– Loss of trade for local businesses who benefit from pedestrian traffic

– Loss of business for alternative public transportation services such as the local Baht-Buses and motorbike taxis.

Mr. Mekawarajun voiced the communities concerns that the network would only benefit large companies and businesses operating along the network such as Central Festival, Big C, Major and Royal Garden Plaza, while not considering the impact on small-medium businesses operating below the anticipated route.

Reportedly, the protest group, consisting of 33 community leaders and business owners, will get a chance to voice their objections of the project to the Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva in the near future.

Reporter : Yanwarrut   Photo : Yanwarrut   Category : Community News

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