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As park trees wilt, Bangkok’s governor declares, “Benchakitti is not a golf course.”

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Bangkok has not abandoned its responsibility to care for Benchakitti Forest Park, said governor Chadchart Sittipunt on Monday, in response to public complaints about wilting trees in the park.

Several trees in the 300-rai public park in Klong Toei district are drooping, indicating a lack of watering and proper care, according to photos widely shared on social media.

On Sunday, the Facebook page “Benchakitti Forest Park” posted photos of volunteer soldiers spraying water on the park’s trees. The posts prompted netizens to wonder why the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) was failing to maintain the park.

Chadchart responded on Monday by stating that park maintenance had been outsourced.

“Benchakitti Park is managed by a private company because it also serves as a learning center and has a complex design,” Chadchart explained. “Taking care of such a delicate public park is not the same as maintaining a golf course, where grass and trees can remain green all year.”

The governor noted that BMA officials have been working with the Army’s Maintenance Engineering Department, which developed the park, to develop short- and long-term strategies for sustainable water supplies for park plants, especially during droughts.

“The BMA treats all Bangkok parks equally. “Benchakitti Park is very young, and we have to learn from the designer and constructor as we continue working on it,” he stated.

Chadchart noted that the BMA’s drainage and environment division, the Treasury Department, which owns the site, and private partners had been examining the park’s equipment and lake water quality.

“I appreciate your park concern”. He added the BMA is working hard to finish all park-related initiatives.

Benchakitti Park opened on former Tobacco Authority of Thailand land in 2004 to honor Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 72nd birthday. At the southwest corner, a 1.3km elevated pedestrian and bicycle track connects the park to Bangkok’s other great park, Lumphini. Last year, Benchakitti became a forest park with wetlands, cycle routes, overhead walkways, and a bike trail.

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