BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 - The National Reform Council (NRC) committee on environmental reform will hold a seminar on water management on July 29.

Mr. Pramote Mailkad, Chairman of the NRC committee on natural resources and environmental reform, revealed that it will will organize a seminar on Wednesday under the theme, “Time to Reform Water Resources Management." The seminar is being held at Hotel Mercure Bangkok to gather opinions on how to move forward with the country’s water management strategy.

He indicated that the problem of water management in the country is three-fold. He blamed vague state policies, a lack of related agencies, and no legal framework for water management.

The NRC committee chairman recommended a national water management policy, a mechanism for public participation, and revision of current regulations. A draft law to facilitate these goals has been already passed by the NRC and awaits Cabinet approval.

SONGKHLA, 27 July 2015 - A public hearing has been held in Songkhla province amid tight security, regarding the construction of the power plant in Thepa district.

Songkhla residents, religious leaders and other stakeholders have attended the forum, which will conclude tomorrow. Public opinion is being surveyed ahead of the construction of the coal power plant and its sea port.

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 - The Department of Land Transport (DLT) has said it is illegal to install a metal structure on top of the pickup truck in an attempt to carry more items as it would pose danger to other vehicles on the road.

DLT Deputy Director General Suchart Klinsuwan said it would be illegal to attach any protruding equipment to pickup truck.

According to him, many pickup truck owners have installed a basket-like rooftop extension to the vehicle's rear section for commercial purposes.

Quite often the extension is mounted separately to the vehicle, which could pose danger when used to carry large and heavy items. Without a proper structural support underneath the extension, it could easily break and come off while the vehicle is traveling on the road.

The Deputy Director General said any modification to the truck should be in line with the regulations in order to assure road safety.

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 - The National Broadcasting Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) is urging homeowners to quickly obtain a digital TV coupon before the end of this month.

According to the broadcasting regulator, those who have picked up the 690-baht digital TV coupon during the first and second distributions are encouraged to exchange it for a set-top box before July 31, when the coupon expires.

There are reportedly 42 provinces, including Bangkok and its vicinity, where people are entitled to the latest round of digital TV coupons. They are advised to visit the nearest post office to receive the coupon or call 1200 for more information.

BANGKOK, 27 July 2015 - Continuous rainfall has relieved the drought situation in several areas of Thailand. As dams were replenished, many farmers returned to rice growing.

In Khon Kaen province, rainfall has been raising water levels at the Ubonrat Dam at an average of three million cubic meters per day. Nearly 60% of its 643 million cubic meters is deemed fit for public consumption. Approximately 2.5 million cubic meters is being released into streams for agricultural use.

In Nakhon Ratchasima province, Lam Takhong Dam has received only one million cubic meters of water from rainfall. Officials at the dam have assured there is enough water for household consumption, despite lower-than-expected water levels.

In Nakhon Phanom province, people living along the Mekhong River have been warned to be ready to evacuate, as the water levels are rising quickly. Two weeks of continuous precipitation have also contributed to strong currents in the river. Ferry operators are urged to be extra cautious when navigating the river.

Despite the recent rainfall, several months of drought have left 500,000 rai of rice paddies dessicated. Meanwhile, crops grown in another 500,000 rai have reportedly survived the water shortages.

The Meteorological Department has forecast more rain in the North. More water is expected to be added to the dams. However, meteorologists have warned people not to become too complacent. The public is urged to continue conserving water.

BANGKOK, 25 July 2015 - The Ministry of Culture is set to hold Thai textiles exhibition at the National Museum in Bangkok as tribute to Her Majesty the Queen on 14 August, the Minister of Culture has said.

ANGKOK, 25 July 2015  The government is set to provide pre-registration for mothers to access the new-born subsidy on 1 September 2015, while the subsidy program will begin in October. 

BANGKOK, July 2015 - To enable Buddhists and city people to observe Asalha Puja and Buddhist Lent Day, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA) will be offering free bus trips to nine best-known temples of the capital city during July 30-31.

BANGKOK, July 2015 - Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong has asked all aviation-related agencies to speed up the improvement of their personnel’s abilities to boost the country’s aviation industry. 

PHUKET, 27 July 2015, The Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) has revealed its plan to promote the southern island province of Phuket as the best location in the region of the Andaman Sea, for Meetings, Incentive events, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE).

TCEB Vice President Supawan Teerarat, announced the strategy, as the province launched the 2nd Thailand MICE Mart last week. She said the fair gives an opportunity for 34 MICE related operators, such as hotel and resort owners, in the province to conduct business matchmaking with corporations from both Phuket and Bangkok.

According to the Vice President, last year Phuket was able to generate more than 500 million baht in tourism revenue from approximately 70,000 MICE travelers.

Meanwhile, Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong told reporters that the province is developing necessary infrastructure projects and working with the private sector in order to facilitate the activities of MICE businesses and build confidence among tourists. He said such projects cover the province's airport expansion and other public facility upgrades, which are expected to be completed by February next year. The improved facilities would be able to handle 12.5 million travelers a year, said the governor.

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