RESIDENTS in Chiang Mai are perplexed at the authorities digging up footpaths to lay water pipes during high season which endangers tourists and locals alike, Sanook.com said today (Dec. 14).
This northern city is currently full of tourists but a Tiktok user highlighted the danger they face by posting photos of foreign tourists walking down partly dug up footpaths with difficulty with some of them jumping over the rubble and others almost stumbling.
Residents questioned why this project was not undertaken during normal times when there are not so many tourists around. They also pointed out that everything was very quiet for two years during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic which was when this sort of utility project should have been launched.
They underscored that it is highly unsuitable to dig up pavements during the high season as tourists could stumble and fall or if they opt to walk along the road they risk getting hit by a car.
A Sanook.com news team inspected the project and found that footpaths had been dug up along Huay Kaew road, Suthep subdistrict, Mueang Chiang Mai district, and so far had reached Fah Thani intersection but will continue all the way to Rin Kham intersection, a distance of almost two kilometres.
Cement debris lay piled up on the excavated stretches which were roped off with a sign posted apologising for the inconvenience as a water pipe laying project is being undertaken.
Chiang Mai Governor Nirat Pongsitthaworn said he has ordered the Chiang Mai branch of Provincial Waterworks Authority to quickly resolve problems arising from this project as people had complained directly to him.
Initially officials will be putting up more warning signs and blocking off the project zone and neatly arranging construction material at the end of each working day.
Meanwhile the city’s waterworks agency said it had told the contractor to suspend any further digging work and only lay pipes in the stretches already exacavated.
The dug up footpaths and tourists walking through with difficulty. Photos: Sanook.com