Sunday, August 01, 2021

in-focus

Samut Prakan administration votes to buy more lamp posts despite calls for graft probe


The Rachathewa Subdistrict Administrative Organisation (SAO) in Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli district has approved a budget of THB68.1 million to buy an additional 720 decorative solar-powered lamp posts despite controversy surrounding an earlier purchase, a news source revealed on Tuesday.

Earlier this month Samut Prakan residents approached the National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the budget disbursement by the Rachathewa SAO, which had reportedly spent an unusually high amount of money on the street lamp posts sporting designs of the mythological Kinnari, a half-bird, half-woman creature, and equipped with a solar power panels.

The Rachathewa subdistrict is claimed to have paid THB642.6 million for 6,773 posts, or THB94,884 apiece. The project listed Bangkok Road Lighting Co Ltd as the sole contractor.

Rachathewa SAO president Songchai Nokkhamin said earlier that the organisation still had plans to buy additional lamp posts and would not delay the purchase despite demands for a corruption probe.

The source revealed that at the latest Rachathewa SAO meeting, 15 members voted for the purchase, five voted against and four abstained, leading to the motion approving the purchase of an additional 720 of the controversial lamp posts.

“The project stemmed from the need of locals to have street lighting in their neighbourhood. The SAO has set up three committees to supervise the project’s TOR [terms of reference] setting, the e-bidding process and post-installation inspection,” Songchai said.

“The lamp posts will not only provide lighting but will also improve the neighbourhood’s image, as Rachathewa is located at Suvarnabhumi Airport, a gateway to Thailand,” he argued.

Published : June 23, 2021

By : THE NATION