Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has stressed that all water management projects should be completed before the end of August in order to prepare the country for a possible runoff during the rainy season.
Also in her statement, the Prime Minister said she was hoping to attract foreign investors to invest in Thailandâ€™s water resources management plan. Meanwhile, Thailand has requested the Chinese government for experts on flood, Ms. Yingluck added, to help examine and verify the effectiveness of the flood prevention strategy in the country.
Under the flood prevention plan, the management of water sources has been divided into 3 zones for better control. The first is the origins of all rivers, where frequent surveillance will be conducted and residents will be alerted when flooding is imminent. Dredging of these waterways will also be carried out. The completion date is initially scheduled for the end of June.
Secondly, in the middle section of the rivers, water retention areas will be built while more dredging operations will be executed. It is expected that all of these will be accomplished before the end of July.
Lastly, for the most downstream regions, flood relief projects are slated to be completed within August. Canal embankments will be reinforced in parallel with the dredging work. The public will also be encouraged to participate in flood disaster drills, which will take place in July and August. Additional water retention areas of around 2.1 million rai are expected to be set up with a combined capacity to hold up to 5.1 billion cubic meters of floodwater.
As much as 50 billion baht has already been spent so far on the implementation of the flood control plan. Other expenses include 24 billion baht on road improvements, 3 billion baht on the construction of flood walls around industrial estates and another 10 billion baht on the development of basic infrastructure.
Science and Technology Minister Mr. Prodprasob Surasawadee, as chairman of the flood and water management committee, said his committee is currently revising the criteria for the selection of a company, either Thai or foreign, to take the responsibility of implementing the long-term flood prevention plan in Thailand.
All the details in the criteria are expected to be concluded within 2 weeks before being submitted to the Cabinet for consideration. Within this month, the Thai government plans to send letters to various nations that are known for their ability to keep floods at bay, asking them to help inform any eligible private companies of Thailandâ€™s flood prevention plan, in case they are interested in taking part.
Dredging Today Staff, May 7, 2012;