Friday, August 14, 2009

Municipal office buildings

When last year I traveled to Khanom and took a photo of the municipal office, I noticed that the building must have been rather recent as it did not show in Google Earth yet. This year I also found the office of the Tambon (Subdistrict) Administrative Organization (TAO) Khanom (see photo), and this also does not show in Google Earth. Currently Google Earth has a satellite picture from February 2004 for that area and it don't even show construction at the two locations, so both offices must have been built within the last 4 years.

And this isn't limited to Khanom, also the office of Thathong Mai (Surat Thani) does not show in 2005, Wiang (also Surat Thani) shows an already cleared lot in 2002, and Bang Toei (Nakhon Pathom) was under construction in 2004 and finished in 2005. While this is only a short list, it in fact is a large percentage of the offices I have visited for photography. The fact which surprises me most about the recent wave of construction is that the TAO are only little more than 10 years old. Thus after they were created in the second part of the 1990s they had an office building already, and after just a few years a new and more representative office building was built.

I don't know whether this observation was caused by the fact that I rarely come to the really poor rural areas, so those administrative entities listed above probably have a quite good tax income and thus enough funding to build such a new office. Maybe the first TAO office building I could find gives an idea - Bang Bai Mai in Surat Thani (photo) has a much less representative office, which was already present in a 2001 satellite picture. Thus this TAO still has the original office building and not yet built such a replacement office.

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