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Vol. XIII No.19 - Sunday September 21, 2014 - Saturday October 4, 2014


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Rubbish in the streets

Dear Editor,
I walk regularly; Chiang Mai is fairly enjoyable to walk in as the temperatures are not so high. It is more difficult in the rainy season as the puddles can be quite large but mostly, it is fine. However, I wonder who I can report to about a person who regularly leaves all their garden rubbish in the middle of the pavement? This person leaves branches and leaves, all his garden rubbish it would seem, right in the pavement forcing anyone who wishes to walk out into the road.
Surely this is not legal. I would love to report this person to the relevant authorities since he (or she) does it on nearly a weekly basis.
There is another place that leaves food rubbish in plastic bags on the side of the road, it is not in front of a restaurant so I suspect it is some small restaurant or other that does not wish to pay to have their rubbish picked up since I see no other place that does this.
Chiang Mai is in general a very clean city and it is people like this who make it difficult for the rest.
Signed,
Fed up with rubbish in the pavements


AoT promises?

Dear Editor,
Over the last few weeks there have been a couple of reports regarding Chiang Mai Airport. It would appear that AoT has some excellent semi-fiction writers preparing comments for senior officials. The non-fiction is that Chiang Mai International Airport exists and has many flights arriving and departing. The information regarding flights per hour is useful since it means that within the hours of 0600 to 2359hrs some 342 flights can be handled without any need to move into the early morning (although occasionally flights take off now after the official closing time of the airport). The comments referring to the future provision of more arrival bays, more parking, and expansion of runways (plural!) may well be correct and, apparently, the plan also includes a road network to ‘handle rush hours’!? Really – does anyone believe that given the present chaos every day.
It appears to me that AoT is not only pulling the wool over as many eyes as possible but is also attempting to put the proverbial “quart into a pint pot”. Given the seriously restricted land area and the buildings surrounding it, the suggested plans would create long-term discomfort and stress to many Chiang Mai people given the number of flights suggested for future years – including severe disturbance for 24hrs each and every day!
A few years ago there was talk of a new airport site but this disappeared – WHY? Chiang Mai really does need to have an International standard airport for the long-term NOT a cramped makeshift option that eventually will be limited and have to move anyway. Why not bite the bullet NOW and provide the visitors with a welcome in keeping with the Chiang Mai area – tourism relies not only on the city! The city already has several good roads into the city which could be linked to an out of town airport. The likely areas for a new airport would still be within easy reach of the city although not ‘just down the road’ as now. Indeed the new sites rumoured earlier would still be closer to the city than most international airports around the world. Given the planned developments of other public transport, Chiang Mai needs to ensure that its long-term airport future is secure – the present comments from AoT give no confidence that this will be the case.
The present airport would be extremely valuable as a development area and the income would be very useful in initiating the new airport funding – please let us not hear the RAF ‘ownership’ story or even the difficulties of the change – the nation owns the site and Chiang Mai would not be the first to face moving to a new airport – there are numerous examples that could provide useful guidance.
There are to be future ‘consultations’ – I can only hope that they are what they claim to be and that common sense together with a genuine interest in the long-term future of Chiang Mai prevail over the present vague promises of no more parking problems and no rush hour delays with considerably and people to and from the airport. The report fails to mention anything about the additional noise and pollution continuing 24hrs each and every day of the year!
Yours,
Potential insomniac


Songthaews not abiding by new prices

Dear Editor,
I read your recent reports on the new prices for songthaews and the routes that they are supposed to follow and must say I have not yet met one who has not tried to overcharge me. I was trying to go to Immigration the other morning at 8 a.m. and one driver tried to charge me 150 baht from inside the moat.
He was definitely not running a regular route as there was no sign on the songthaew. I looked for one running a route to near where I wanted to go but couldn’t find one. I’ve never had to pay so much for a songthaew before, I was rather shocked.
I should add that these days they now want between 40 and 80 baht to go from Chang Puak Gate to just past Kad Suan Kaew Mall. The other day they all wanted 40 baht to go from Chang Puak to Tha Pae! It takes multiple tries to get a songthaew that will go for 20 baht. I don’t ask them how much, I just tell them where I want to go and they demand a ridiculously high price.
I think the Land Transportation Department needs to check into these problems as many others have also said they are not even following the old prices much less the new ones.
Signed,
Unhappy songthaew passenger
Editor responds
Dear Unhappy,
There is a hotline that consumers can call, 1584, to complain about exactly this kind of problem. We strongly encourage our readers to note down the license plate of the songthaew and report them to the Public Transportation Passenger Protection Center. The hotline number is 1584.
Yours,
Shana Kongmun
Managing Editor


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Rubbish in the streets

AoT promises?

Songthaews not abiding by new prices

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Note: Letters printed herein in no way reflect the opinions of the editors or writers for Chiang Mai Mail, but are unsolicited letters from our readers, expressing their own opinions. No anonymous letters or those without genuine addresses are printed, and, whilst we do not object to the use of a nom de plume, preference will be given to those signed.
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