Flood plan moves forward
BANGKOK, 9 July 2012: The Cabinet approved a Bt300 billion budget to hire a consortium to build a water management plan and flood prevention projects after the 2011 floods caused a revenue loss for the country of Bt1.4 trillion.
Science and Technology Minister and Water Resources Management and Flood Control Committee chairman, Plodprasop Suraswadi, said the government will use various media to invite Thai and foreign companies to vie for selection.
“Ministry of Foreign Affairs will coordinate with foreign firms, while we will brief the ambassadors of foreign missions in Thailand of progress and conditions related to the bidding.”
The government will use Bt300 billion to finance long-term flood and water resource management projects including those to alleviate drought.
“There are 14 major projects at eight locations in the Chao Phraya River Basin and six in other river basins,” he explained.
Under the ToR, to qualify consultant must have worked on projects worth more than Bt30 billion.
Companies can collect documents at the Ministry of Science and Technology this week.
“Every country will have equal opportunity to be selected as the consortium for these projects.”
Once selected, consultants will need to forward plans within three months. Designs will take four to five months to approve, followed by cost appraisals giving the projects a start-up date next year.
They cover holding reservoirs, canals, water sluice gates, emergency response plans, water retention areas, water diversion, town planning, and the establishment of new organisations such as a water ministry.
The water management consortium is expected to come with a practical plan to prevent flooding in the future and restore confidence with international investors and tourists.
References were made to the industrial and historical attractions in Ayutthaya province that were severely hit by the 2011 floods. The province was also flooded in 2010 to a lesser degree. Officials say the 2011 flooding in the world heritage town was the worst in five decades.
Tourism experts say the ancient ruins in the province could not survive another flood on the scale of last year. They were submerged in water for almost three months.
Overall, a stretch of the land 200 km north to south and 60 km east to west was flooded mainly by run off from a network of rivers in the north. They all flow into the Chao Phraya River, at Nakhon Sawsan, which is the main river artery. It cuts a path through the heart of the central plains to Bangkok and the estuary a distance of around 260 km.