By Thai Newsroom Reporters
MOVE FORWARD MP Benja Saengchantra today (June 2) suggested that Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall and Vimanmek Mansion, viewed as Bangkok’s magnificent landmarks, reopen for tourism reasons.
Both Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, built in renaissance style, and Vimanmek Mansion, the world’s largest teakwood building, are located in the premises of Dusit Palace, and closed to the public following 2016’s ascension to the throne by King Maha Vajiralongkorn, aka King Rama X.
High concrete walls and fences have been built around the perimeters of Royal Plaza next to Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall which was built in the time of King Rama V the Great and used as parliament from 1932 until 1974.
Permanently closed as well is the road traffic through Dusit Palace’s premises passing Royal Plaza where an equestrian statue of King Rama V the Great is significantly situated, the dismantled parliament buildings which had been used from 1974 until 2019 and the removed Dusit Zoo.
On a third day of a marathon House debate on the 2023 budget bill, the Move Forward woman lawmaker advised that the throne hall and the adjacent mansion reopen to Thai and foreign visitors because those historical sites could significantly promote Bangkok’s tourism in addition to the daily frequented Grand Palace about three kilometres away with Ratchadamnoen Avenue built in the style of Paris’s Champs Elysees lying in between.
Meanwhile, Benja remarked that varied government agencies assigned to carry out royal development projects in the provinces nationwide have evidently overlapped one another with all looking for sustained funding out of the taxpayer’s money on yearly basis and many having failed to get them completed by schedule.
Nevertheless, many of those royal projects have not served the interests of local villagers as earlier anticipated, were rarely cost-effective and consumed much funding yearly, according to the Move Forward MP.
For instance, Benja said, the construction of a royally initiated Huay Samong irrigation project in Nadee district of Prachinburi has been delayed since 2018, prompting the Irrigation Department to reschedule the completion date and ask for additional funding every year since.
The alleged mishandling of the multiple royal development projects by the government agencies could probably spoil the highly-placed honours and prestige of the monarch and Royal Household, she said.
Some 30.5 billion baht in funding for the Royal Household is being allocated by the government under the 2023 budget, including some 8.6 billion baht earmarked for undisclosed missions under command of the monarch. The total funding for the Royal Household accounts for a 9.4% drop from last fiscal year.
Top: Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall. Photo: Matichon
Home Page: Move Forward MP Benja Saengchantra speaking at Parliament today. Photo: Thai Post