Chiang Mai noodle shop tumbles in bid to ease canal pollution
Soldiers in Chiang Mai on Monday tore down a noodle shop and a village headman’s building encroaching on the Mae Sa Canal that were blocking efforts to channel cleaner water into a polluted canal downstream.
The mission in Tambon Don Kaew, Mae Rim district, was part of an Irrigation Office 1 project to curb pollution in the historic Mae Kha Canal.
Plans called for the Mae Sa to be dredged and widened, but the buildings were obstructing efforts, project director Pittaya Im-aim said.
The Bt43-million first phrase entails dredging 8.25 kilometres of the Mae Sa Canal from Mae Sa Dam to Ban Pa Ruak and installing a two-metre-radius pipe designed by Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Engineering.
The obstructing buildings ended up delaying the work for a month, Pittaya said.
Noodle vendor Pranom Panya watched the demolition with her partially blind mother, forced to accept her fate without compensation.
The Mae Kha Canal was excavated in 1226 as a secondary defence against flooding in the old city of Lanna and remained a key component of Chiang Mai’s water system.
But unregulated growth amid rapid urbanisation in recent decades has narrowed the canal, with people erecting structures on its banks and dumping garbage in the water.
Authorities are hoping to clean the canal and revive its historic role in flood prevention and recreation.