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Heritage status eyed for Chao Phraya

May 23. 2013
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By Tanatpong Kongsai
The Nation

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The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to campaign for a section of the Chao Phraya River to be listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Jumpol Sumpaopol yesterday said the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and the Environment had resolved to push for the listing of the stretch of the river from the Phra Phuttha Yodfa Bridge (Memorial Bridge) to the Wasukree Pier to be listed as a World Heritage site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. 

The BMA will campaign to raise public awareness of the river’s importance to national and world heritage, and the need to conserve it, he said. 
The chief of the BMA’s Land Readjustment and Urban Renewal Division, Prapapon Junnuan, said the city had imposed regulations to control construction along the riverbanks and to keep the river clean. Besides the proposed section to be listed, she said the city would campaign for people to take better care of the Chao Phraya’s riverside areas in 17 districts. 
In June, the office will invite Fine Arts Department representatives to discuss an action plan and additional regulations to be implemented.
The plan was formulated and details prepared last year by the Fine Art Department on the grounds that the riverside area featured examples of outstanding architecture that were of high historical value, according to Archaeology Office director Tanapon Sisuchard. 
Important sites on the Thon Buri side include Wat Prayurawongsawat, Wat Kallayanamitr Woramahawihara, Vichaiprasit Fort, Wat Arun and Bangkok Noi Railway Station, while the Phra Nakorn side’s key sites include the Rachini School’s Sununta Building, Wat Pho, Bawon Sathan Mongkhon Palace and Phra Sumen Fort, the director said. 

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