Tue, July 05, 2022

in-focus

BMA sets up checkpoints to prevent waster splashing on Khaosan Road


The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) on Thursday scrambled to take action in order to prevent tourists from splashing water as part of Songkran celebrations on Khaosan Road, a popular tourist destination.

As part of the measures, the BMA set up road checkpoints on both sides of Khaosan Road from 1pm.

The move to set up checkpoints was made at an urgent meeting of BMA agencies at 11am, called by BMA clerk Khachit Chatwanit to discuss measures for enforcing the nationwide ban on water splashing on Khaosan Road.

Kachit said the meeting was also attended by representatives from the Metropolitan Police Bureau and restaurant operators on Khaosan Road.

The meeting was held after the BMA clerk was informed by the operation centre of the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration to enforce the ban strictly.

On Wednesday, foreign tourists were seen gathering on Khaosan Road in the evening to play water splashing until 11pm, leading to fears of new Covid-19 clusters. After reports on the Khaosan Songkran celebrations, the CCSA operation centre announced that the road is not among permitted venues for holding Songkran celebrations and water splashing is prohibited.

Following the 11am meeting, Phra Nakhon district chief Wasant Boonmuenwai said the two road checkpoints would be manned by BMA environment officials, who will perform antigen tests on those who want to enter the Khaosan area. Police will also be deployed to enforce the ban.

Wasant said Songkran revellers will not be allowed to carry water guns and other tools into the area for water-splashing activities.

He said the tourists will be allowed only to visit restaurants on the road without splashing water as on Wednesday night. Drinking and eating will be allowed until 11 pm.

The Phra Nakhon district chief said five restaurant operators were arrested for violating the 11pm closure time on Wednesday night; three of them have been fined and two others are still facing legal procedure.

Khachit added that there were 10 tourist destinations near Khaosan where tourists are allowed to sprinkle a little water on each others' hands and head as part of the old Songkran tradition.

The 10 destinations are well-known Buddhist temples: Wat Ratchaborphit, Wat Saket, Wat Kalayanamitr, Wat Arun, Wat Phra Chetuphon, Wat Mahathat, Wat Suthat, Wat Rakang, Wat Ratchanadda and Wat Prayoon, Kachit added.

The traditional celebrations at the temples will be held from morning until 5pm.

Published : April 14, 2022

By : THE NATION