The Sukhumvit area of central Bangkok (David McKelvey/CC BY 2.0)

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Thailand to consult public on moving capital out of Bangkok

19 September 2019 | By GCR Staff | 1 Comment

Thailand’s prime minister has floated the idea of following the example of Indonesia and Egypt and moving the institutions of the state out of a congested and overcrowded capital city.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, speaking at the “Connecting Thailand with the World” conference yesterday, 18 September, said there were two possible approaches to moving the capital.

“The first is to find a city that’s neither too far nor too expensive to move to; the second is to move to outer Bangkok to reduce crowding,” he said.

He added that the idea of moving would require extensive research into the economic and social impacts, but that it was “a possibility” under his administration.

The metropolitan region of Bangkok has a population of about 14 million (Public domain)

He added that moving government to the outskirts of Bangkok would reduce the need for people to commute in and out of the city centre and so ease traffic jams.

He said the idea would be put out to public consultation to “establish mutual understanding among the people to make sure they and the government are on the same page”.

At present, some 10 million vehicles attempt to share Bangkok’s roads, leading to the city being ranked as the eighth most congested in the world.

Prayut’s speech comes after Indonesia announced its intention of moving its administrative capital out of Jakarta, which is ranked seventh on the congestion index.

The government of Egypt is currently building a new administrative capital in the desert east of Cairo.

Top image: A Philippine government image of the Mindanao railway in operation

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