The Army on Thursday defended construction of a Bt15-billion restrooms and shops in the royal Rajabhakti Park, claiming that it is worth the investment and the process was sufficiently transparent to stand up to close scrutiny.
“They won’t be typical toilets you can see everywhere,” said Army spokesperson Colonel Winthai Suvaree. “We believe that our donators wish everything in the park to be magnificently built, to be worthy of royalty.”
The facility will also be essential for welcoming thousands of visitors coming to the Prachuap Khiri Khan-based park each day, Winthai said.
The procurement process also followed a high standard and is transparent, he assured.
The Army Chief General Chalrmchai Sittisart asked: “How can it be wrong to build toilets and shops?”
Last December, the Army hired a private company to construct a building consisting of 52 restrooms, and five rooms for shops.
Now 80 per cent completed, the project is expected to be open next February.
The construction is subsidized by the Rajabhakti Park Foundation under Royal Patronage of HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, according to the name registered in January last year.
When opened in 2015, the park itself faced controversy for alleged irregularities in construction budgets. Seven statutes of historical Thai Kings are the park’s key feature, and the budget for each king’s statue was set at Bt50 million, while the foundry said that a statue was actually worth Bt1 million.
Decorative palm trees were also set budgeted at Bt100,00 each. The palm breeder later revealed that the trees were actually donated.
The National Anti-Corruption Commission concluded that the royal project correctly followed all regulations in its September 2016 decision.