We all like Clean & Green these days so after a refreshing Easter Day service at the Chiang Mai Railway Park your reporter took a leisurely ride to view the real Mae Kha, also known as Mae Kha Noi, south of the Kham Tien Market.
The Mae Kha Noi winds along parallel to the straight Mae Kha canal which saw frenzied cleaning activity during 2010, the year of “Chiang Mai Yiem”.
Unlike its straight counterpart this is the real Mae Kha and often has old trees to make the point. Another difference is that while it has assets the canal lacks, something otherwise distinctive along the Mae Kha today was completely missing from the areas in these photos.
So now you have seen the pictures can you name the assets they have and the problems that afflict other places but not here?
How about assets –
1. a close-knit community which keeps its environment as clean as possible under difficult conditions;
2. a car free residential precinct
3. no unsightly overhead wires ( the wires in the view from above are on the neighboring property of the Central Pattana mega-business. The lack of trees on the Central property made this picture possible.)
4. convenient low energy (how many air-cons per 7/11 store?) shopping.
About problems – Despite the public cleanliness rubbish still comes down the stream and often lodges under the houses and although the air smelled sweet after a night of rain this is not always the case.
Yet the local and central governments seem happy to leave this community alone, despite the fact that all the structures are either over the stream or on public rights of way. And the big companies which own large tracts of land nearby feel no need to share there land with this community.
Meanwhile the municipality of Nakhorn Chiang Mai which has been talking about cleaning up the Mae Kha for over a year has just announced that a 2 million baht grant from Bangkok is to be spent on replacing a few small trees around the city moat and adding name tags, yet another obstruction to pedestrians, to the trees.