Wednesday, September 12, 2007

History of two klongs

The two Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) posters below give the history of both Klong Prawet Burirom and Klong Phrakanong in both Thai and English. I have printed out the English part. Don't worry about the spelling differences. See my earlier post today.

BMA Klong Phrakanong Poster

Klong  Phrakanong History Poster

Above - Klong Phrakanong Poster

'Originally it was a natural canal (Khlong) that meandered and connected Khlong Nong Bon to the Chao Phraya River. the approximate length was around 10 kilometres. Khlong (Canal) Phra Khanong was dug deeper in 1837 by Somdet Phra Nang Klao, King Rama III, he graciously ordered Phraya Sri Phiphat (That Bunnak) - later was Somdet Chao Phraya Borommahaphichai Yat, to carry out the digging, so as to improve the communications as well. Chinese labourers were hired and the work completed in 1840. Consequently, King Rama V graciously ordered to dig up Khlong Phra Khanong to be extended and allow it to be connected to Klong Dan that eventually flow out into Bang Pakong River in Chachoengsao province, and this new canal was named Klong Prawet Burirom. The total capital used to dig up the khlong came from three sources. The first source was from King Rama V who donated money from the royal treasury, which amounted to approximately 80,000 Baht and was used to pay the Chinese labourers. The second source was actually Nuea Fin (opium) that was used as a mean to pay the wages. The third source of fund was from the people. The King granted permission to the people to collect and pay part of the cost of the Khlong. The total amount collected was 32,752 Baht. It was the first khlong that King Rama V allowed the people to join in and help pay the cost. The benefits that were granted back to the people who joint in and paid was that they were allowed to reserve land on both sides of the khlong, in the designated areas and according to the amount they paid up. For the amount ranging from 2 Salueng up to 1.5 Baht, which was the higher rate, these people were allowed to reserve land at the top of the khlong. As the rate decreased the area that could be reserved would be further down the khlong, till the area of Chachoengsao province.'

BMA Klong Prawet Burirom Poster

Klong Prawet Burirom History Poster

Above - Klong Prawet Burirom Poster

'After the canal construction bill being promulgated in 1877, King Rama V had ordered to dig the extension part of Phra Khanong Canal to join Khlong Dan and link with Bang Pakong River of Chachoengsao province. The dug canal was called Khlong Prawet Burirom. Besides the canal also was dug 4 extended branches, totalling a distance of 46 kilometers. Phraya Ratchaphonlakhan was appointed as chief of the project while Chao Phraya Surawong Waiyawat was the project director. The excavation work took 3 years to finish. The man-made canal could not only help facilitation water transportation between Nakhon Khuean Khan (Samak Prakan province nowadays) and Chachoengsao Province to a great extent, but also opening new cultivation areas along both sides of the canal.'

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