Prisoners will start cleaning Bangkok’s drainage system on July 1

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will begin hiring prisoners to clear a 500km target of the capital’s drainage system on July 1stBangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said after a meeting with director general of the correctional department Ayut Sinthoppan.

With a budget of 15 million baht, 100 km of the drainage system will first be cleaned, said Chadchart, who admitted that the cost is a little higher than that offered by the private sector, but the quality of the work is expected. be better. The newly elected governor aims to have 500 km of drains cleaned in 4 months.

The cooperation between the BMA and the Department of Corrections was initiated by Justice Minister Somsak Thepsuthin, who said prisoners could help do this type of work, which would allow them to earn an income while contributing to the society.

Chadchart said the city administration can deal directly with the corrections department, without requiring a bidding process, as both are government agencies.

He said prisoners should be treated like ordinary citizens, in terms of pay and welfare, and should participate voluntarily.

Each district office has been tasked with identifying areas where they want the drains cleaned first, the governor said, adding that he would prefer work to begin before July 1.stnoting that people are eager to fix the flooding problem.

While the sewer cleaning is underway, he said he would like residents to take a look at what is inside the sewer system because in some places there is a large amount of fat. This indicates that grease traps were not installed in these quarters.

He pleaded with households to install grease traps in their kitchens.

There are approximately 6,500 km of main drainage lines in the capital, of which 2,000 km are under the responsibility of the Department of Drainage and Sanitation. The remaining 4,500 km of small drains are under the care of each of the 50 districts.

Ayut, meanwhile, said that all prisoners, from 10 prisons, who will work on sewer cleaning will be handpicked, due to their good behavior, adding that each will receive 70% of their salary for the work after having completed his prison term. .

He confirmed that all will be screened for COVID-19, using rapid antigen test kits, before leaving and upon returning to their prisons and that they will not be allowed to venture out. outside the restricted areas in which they work. All come from coronavirus-free prisons, he added.

About 40 canals in the capital were dredged before Chadchart came into operation.