Chadchart blames predecessor for 10m-baht fitness gear at BMA gyms


Governor rushes to defend his administration after STRONG club questions ridiculously expensive fitness machines at two BMA-run sports centres

The unnecessarily expensive fitness machines installed in the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) gyms, including a 759,000-baht treadmill, were purchased by the previous administration, governor Chadchart Sittipunt said.

Chadchart and his two deputies, Sanon Wangsangboon and Chakkraphan Phiewngam, called a press conference on Thursday to respond to queries raised by anti-corruption club STRONG. The club has alleged that fitness machines and equipment for two BMA-run gyms were bought at highly inflated prices.  

The STRONG club said BMA under Chadchart’s leadership had spent almost 10 million baht on 22 items of gym equipment for the Waree Pirom and the Wachirabenchathat fitness centres.

Chadchart blames predecessor for 10m-baht fitness gear at BMA gyms

It claimed the BMA had spent nearly 5 million baht to purchase 11 items of fitness gear for Waree Pirom and another 4.998 million baht for 11 pieces of gear for the Wachirabenchathat fitness centres.

The group said the items bought for Waree Pirom included a treadmill worth 759,000 baht and two stationery bikes worth 483,000 and 451,000 baht each as well as a weight training machine for 652,000 baht.

STRONG cited similar prices for items purchased for the Wachirabenchathat Sports Centre, including a bench for lifting weights priced at 96,000 baht. The group said these benches can be bought at the market for no more than 30,000 baht.

Admitting that the items appear to have been bought at inflated prices, Chadchart said he had only learned about the questionable procurements on Sunday.

Chadchart blames predecessor for 10m-baht fitness gear at BMA gyms

He said the BMA had set up a committee to probe the procurement and also called on the Comptroller General’s Office to look into the case. He said he had only heard that the office began looking into the procurements two months ago.

The governor added that though the prices appeared to be inflated, the fitness equipment was bought in line with the 2017 State Procurement Act and the purchases had been made via an e-bidding procedure.

Deputy governor Sanon said the fitness gear had been supplied to the BMA in March 2022, before Chadchart and his team took over in June 2022.

He said the median price of the treadmill was based on the one bought earlier by the previous administration for 600,000 baht.