Flood plan moves forward
BANGKOK, 14 June 2012: The Thai Cabinet approved in principle, Tuesday, a draft Terms of Reference (ToR) that will begin the process of establishing the country’s first water resources management plan.
The ToR is expected to be completed by early next year.
Science and Technology Minister and Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management chairman, Plodprasop Suraswadi, said the National Water Resources and Flood Policy Committee (NWFPC) has sought approval for the draft from the Cabinet.
“The selected company, however, will need to abide by His Majesty the King’s instructions on water management and the guidelines set forth by the Strategic Committee for Water Resources Management (SCWRM).”
The application process will begin in one month. Contending companies will have three months to draft their plans before the government will spend another month deliberating which plan offers the most effective solution.
To protect business zones, Mr Plodprasop confirmed the Cabinet endorsed a Bt3,810 million budget, 5 June, to build flood barriers and adjust infrastructure around the six previously-flooded industrial estates hit by floods last year.
The six industrial estates are Ayutthaya’s Bang Pa-In, Saha Rattana Nakhon, Rojana, Hi-Tech, and Pathumthani’s Bangkadi and Navanakorn.
The construction is expected to be completed within two months.
“Under the construction plan, the government divided the budget into two parts. Bt3,200 million for floodwalls and Bt610 million for infrastructure such as water gates.”
He said more than 200,000 people living around the industrial sites will also benefit from the construction.
“Also, over 2.1 million rai of land has been designated as “monkey cheeks” or water retention areas. Altogether, they will have the capacity to contain around 5.1 billion cubic metres of water during the rainy season.”
The monkey cheek areas are divided into two categories, consisting of areas hit by repetitive flooding, with about 1.2 million rai, and irrigation areas where there are no farming activities, with 900,000 rai.