Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Construction Site Noise

End in sight for residents in battle against building noise. Lee Klein does not need an alarm clock. He has been waking at 6am every day for the past several months.

For people in Bangkok's Pathum Wan district, the sound of construction work is their signal a new day is beginning.

"Cranes start up at 6am and you wake me up with hammers at 6am every weekend," expatriate Klein told contractors at a meeting of irate, sleep-deprived residents.

Klein lives in an apartment in the Grand Regent in Soi Mahadlekluang 2. The block is sandwiched by two construction sites.

The nightmare may soon be over following reconciliation between the community and contractors. It is a win-win deal for the community, the contractors and Pathum Wan district.

"This is the first time a Bangkok community has successfully negotiated with contractors," said Pathum Wan district director Surakiat Limcharoen.

There have been thousands of complaints about construction noise in Bangkok, but there has never been a collective complaint like that of the sleepless of Pathum Wan.

Led by resident Oraya Sutabutr, the community last month demanded contractors be more considerate about noise and shorten working hours on weekends. It also wanted dust control and care of public spaces.

Six more condominiums and hotels are being erected in Sois Mahadlekluang 1 to 3, adding to the half dozen already there. There is another construction site on nearby Lang Suan. This work causes noise and air pollution.

The contractors are Rittha, K-Tech, Jiangsu, Obayashi, Bouygues-Thai and Siphya Construction.

When building started some months ago, residents were angered by working hours that often started as early as 6am or even went around the clock.

They filed complaints with the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and some of the problems were solved for a short period.

But Surakiat believed there would be no total solution unless the parties listened to each other's needs.

He arranged the recent meeting where the community asked contractors to start working in accordance with the law - which stipulates 8am to 10pm weekdays and 11am to 10pm on weekends as acceptable hours. Workers are required to take care when in public areas.

The community can punish contractors who ignore agreements struck at the meeting. Penalties include temporary closure for one day. For subsequent offences Bt100,000-a-day fines will be imposed and money used by the district for community improvement, such as footpaths for the disabled along Rajdamri Road and improvements to car parking at Wat Pathumwanaram.

"I'm just a middleman chairing the meeting. Everyone gets to say what they want," Surakiat says. "Nobody loses. And we get donations to improve our community, too."

Sirinya Wattanasukchai

The Nation

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a Bangkok homeowner -- I have lived through construction of four houses in development next to mine, hundreds of barking soi dogs, etc. After much pressures, developer stopped on Sundays.
What are the laws?
There will always be problems like this until you develop a real CIVIL SOCIETY in which people are equal and respected and laws apply even to those with money and "connection."
Until then, Thailand is and remains a BARBARIAN country. (sorry)

10:11:00 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly agree with the comment made by Anonymous!

I am also a Bangkok homeowner and I am also having a very difficult time with the developers. They wont stop their ridiculously annoying and loud construction work. They even work sometimes at night!

Because of all the annoying and loud construction noise I have developed a hearing condition known as Hyperacusis and I can no longer tolerate loud noises.

I would appreciate if someone could help.

2:09:00 p.m.  

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