Chadchart urges MEA to take responsibility for damages on BMA property
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) wants the Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) to pay for the damages on its property due to the fire at Sampheng market in Bangkok on Sunday.
According to witnesses, a transformer outside a three-storey shophouse burst into flames on Sunday morning, torching a row of shophouses.
The blaze, which killed two and injured 11 others, took firefighters more than two hours to control. The fire also reportedly damaged four cars and three motorcycles.
Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said on Tuesday that people are now uncertain about the safety of electricity transformers near residences after the accident.
He said 400 transformers had been installed in inner Bangkok, adding that the MEA has increased the frequency of transformer maintenance to every six months.
“Many lessons are being learned from this fire,” he noted.
Chadchart said the BMA would ask cable owners, especially the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, to remove unused cables for “safety and order”, starting in Yaowarat.
He urged the MEA to take responsibility for the damages on BMA property similar to alleviating the suffering of victims.
He pointed out that it is necessary to remove unused cables before burying the remaining underground in a bid to mitigate the risk of fire.
Chadchart said he would discuss with Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn the need to bury cables underground, while the 20-billion-baht budget to tackle the issue was just too high.
“Expenses will not be too high if the BMA tackled the issue on its own, so it has to study all the details,” he said.
Chadchart said Krungthep Thanakom chairman Thongthong Chandrangsu has been appointed to check the details.
He added that the BMA would be pleased if the DES Ministry also pitched in with a budget to tackle the problem.
Separately, Chadchart said the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority would look for areas to set up water dispensers across the capital. He confirmed these would not obstruct pedestrians and the water would be clean to drink.
“This will help people save money on buying drinking water and reduce the volume of plastic waste,” he added.