WATCH: Khlong Toei Port Modernization Threatens Bangkok Slum Communities

The Port Authority of Thailand is edging closer to floating a tender offering for its Klong Toei “smart community” project.

The authority is seeking to modernize the Bangkok port and adjacent areas, parts of which have been encroached upon by poor people.

This raises concerns about the fate of Thais who make a living from the port and the areas surrounding it, as they would have to clear the land to allow for construction.

The local communities that would be affected directly by the modernization project are exasperated and demanded authorities reconsider their plans to take the slum commuities’ needs into consideration before going forward.

Driven by feelings of nostalgia, many said that it is hard for them to leave the place where they grew up and built their lives, saying that displacement would leave them out of businesses and force them to start from scratch.

“I do not know what to do because I would have to start from scratch. If you are putting us out of business, would you be able to compensate us?” one resident said.

“We grew up like this We know what we see. Really, if possible I would like to choose to stay here Because it is about the place of work. Here, it’s like the center of the city,” said another.