via Bangkok Post, 26 May 2023: The controversial high-speed train project near the Ayutthaya heritage site, which has raised concerns about its impact on aesthetics and conservation, exemplifies the flaws in Thailand’s heritage preservation regulations, with experts suggesting alternatives such as an underground rail system to protect the site. The lack of thorough consultation with relevant agencies before construction began and the indifference of the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) have prompted civic groups to launch a campaign to save Ayodhya, highlighting the need for better safeguards and revisions to conservation laws in culturally sensitive areas.
The controversial high-speed train project involving a tall structure and gigantic station plan that threatens the aesthetic value of the Ayutthaya heritage site, epitomises the loopholes in the country’s conservation regulations.
Although the designated rail route is about 2 kilometres away from the Ayutthaya historical park — the core of the Unesco heritage site — and the height of the elevated structure is to be reduced from 19m to 17m, or as high as a five-storey building, there remain concerns about its design.
Some locals are particularly worried whether vibrations from such large-scale construction could damage old temples and archaeological sites.
Source: Heritage went off the rails