Thirty university students from the Youth Network Against New Drinkers on Thursday urged Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha as head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to prevent Central Nakhon Ratchasima mall’s beer garden from opening in December.
Theerapat Khahawong, coordinator of the network, which has pushed for a ban on alcohol sales near academic institutions for years, said the mall had asked the provincial governor to review the alcohol-free zoning near academic institutions by citing economic reasons.
As a result, authorities have considering allowing new businesses selling alcohol at the mall.
Theerapat said the mall, built after NCPO order No 22/2558 banned alcohol licences to new business operators in alcohol-free zones, opened last Friday and announced a beer garden would be opened in December based on confidence that the provincial government would approve the request.
The network urged state officials to summon mall representatives to explain about their case.
Theerapat claimed that if the province bent to the business’s request, students at three academic institutions in the area, Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University, Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, and Vongchavalitkul University, would be at risk.
If the zoning exception was allowed, other business would also seek to open new venues selling alcohol, undermining the NCPO order, he said.