||More dams in pipeline as govt keen to
find long-term solution
Situation still critical in Phetchabun, Loei
Bangkok Post, September 7, 2002
|Two relief workers make their way through
waist-deep floodwater which virtually turned a road in Loei's
provincial town into a canal. _ CHANAT KATANYU
Thailand may build more dams from next year as a possible
long-term solution to flooding.
Deputy Prime Minister Pongpol Adireksarn said yesterday that the committee
tackling flood problems in the North had endorsed the Wat Sri Khoam Kham dam
project in Phayao province and five small reservoirs in Phitsanulok
Authorities would survey flood paths in the two provinces, and their
findings would be used by the Town and Country Planning Department in
mapping out a master construction plan.
Mr Pongpol also said there had been fresh calls for the government to go
ahead with the construction of Kaeng Sua Ten dam project in Phrae to store
water from the Yom river. The dam project has been put on hold due to fierce
opposition from some locals and environmentalists.
There is no dam on the Yom river which in the past few years has caused
severe flooding in Phrae and neighbouring Sukhothai and Phichit provinces.
The Yom River Protection Network has objected to the project, instead
suggesting rehabilitation of watershed areas, river dredging and small
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has said he wants long-term solutions to
Interior Minister Purachai Piumsombun said development of all river basins
would start next year. The Ping river would be the first to be dredged,
followed by Wang, Yom, Nan, Chi, Moon and Chao Phraya.
Meanwhile, Loei remained the hardest-hit yesterday among 20 flood-stricken
provinces. Officials said if heavy rain continued, the Huay Nam Man
reservoir could overflow and people in the area would have to be evacuated.
Land transport out of Loei remained stranded. People wanting to get out of
the province had to travel by boat to tambon Pa Nok Khao, Phu Kradung
district, to catch inter-provincial buses.
In Phetchabun, the situation remained critical as floods which have
inundated thousands of villages along the Pa Sak river and municipal areas
showed no sign of receding.
In Sukhothai, governor Amornrat Niratsaikul said the province's historical
ruins were safe as they were well protected by its flood prevention system.
In Mae Hong Son, authorities called off their search for 20 Karen refugees
who went missing when flash floods hit their camps in Mae Sariang district.
The latest official death toll yesterday was 17, with nine people still
The Highways Department said 35 roads in Sukhothai, Mae Hong Son, Tak,
Phitsanulok, Phetchabun, Phichit, Loei, Udon Thani, Maha Sarakham and Nong
Bua Lampu remained closed yesterday as they were still under water.