Pattaya’s beach renovation project put on hold after protests by several prominent local residents
A group of prominent local Thai residents have united with community leaders to protest a major renovation project in northern Pattaya. The project has now been halted after it started last Sunday, August 15.
Several large trees were pulled from the ground by construction equipment yesterday when the protest group arrived in the middle of the morning. The protesters were led by Jidapa Tanahatthachai, a resident known as ‘Sor Ong’, who is also a former Pattaya Redshirt leader, and Chairat Ratanaopas, the president of the Eastern Spa and Wellness Association.
The protesters told the local press that they believe the project will destroy Pattaya’s original natural beach environment.
Jidapa added: “Several large, older trees have already been removed from the beach. This destroys nature. I grew up with these trees and they provide much-needed shade for residents and beach vendors. We understand that this project is intended to prepare us to welcome tourists in the future.”
“But now is the wrong time to do a beach renovation due to the Covid19 pandemic. We need to pay more attention to protecting and controlling the spread of the virus and people who need food and supplies. Thousands of residents are hungry and on the streets, this is not the time to renovate.”
An opinion that, given the comments on social media, is shared by many residents but also by ex-pats.
Major Jeerawat Sukhontasap, the director of the city enforcement department, arrived on the scene and spoke personally with the protesters to calm the situation as the protesters had allegedly threatened to block the workers’ progress by force if construction and removal of the trees were stopped. Get on.
Major Jeerawat told the press: “The project has been temporarily suspended to allow for discussion between the community leaders and the mayor. All equipment and machinery will be removed from the beach at this time.”
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