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Prisoners to start cleaning Bangkok’s sewers again from next month

THE BANGKOK Metropolitan Administration (BMA) reached an agreement with the Corrections Department today (June 7) to resume hiring prisoners to clean the capital’s sewers from July 1 onwards in an effort to prevent flooding during the rainy season, Naewna newspaper said.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt chaired a meeting with the department’s team led by their chief Mr. Ayuth Sinthapphan at the Bangkok City Hall in Din Daeng where this agreement was reached to allow prisoners to clean the sewer lines based on principles of human rights, their willingness to do the job, their wages, protective equipment and welfare.

Bangkok has over 6,500 kilometres of sewers with 2,000 km being under the responsibility of the district office and over 4,500 km of various district offices.

BMA has 15 million baht in the 2022 fiscal year budget for this task with this to be used to clean 500 km of sewers within four months.

Of this total 100 km is to be cleaned immediately with district offices undertaking surveys and pinpointing the areas prone to heavy flooding to get the work underway.

Ayuth said it has always been his department’s policy to allow excellent prisoners to perform public service. Around 1,000 inmates from 10 prisons who volunteer to do this work without any compulsion will be undertaking the task. They will be given  food and drink plus welfare support. They have to be fully vaccinated and may not visit their relatives or walk in public areas when doing this work.

The inmates will get 70% of profit from cleaning sewers which would be saved for them to use when they have completed their sentence and return to society.

Chadchart said whether or not the Corrections Department will be hired to clean a hundred percent of the city’s drainage network depends on the quality of work. However in the past people have complained that cleaning by the private sector was not as good as the work done by prisoners.


Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt charing a meeting with Corrections Department chief Ayuth Sinthapphan on hiring prisoners to clean the city’s sewers. Photos: Naewna

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