More floods, more talk from city hall

Friday, 11 October 2013 From Issue Vol. XXI No. 41 By  Warunya Thongrod

Another major flood prompted yet another city hall meeting where Pattaya officials repeated the same old list of causes with no new ideas on how to solve the problem.

Mayor Verawat Khakhay chaired the latest exercise in hand-wringing Oct. 1, noting that the latest rainy season stormed created flood waters a meter deep in some places. The causes were all too familiar: Inadequate drainage pipes, garbage blocking drains and polluted canals.

Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay (left) leads the latest city hall flood reaction meeting after heavy rains brought floods Oct. 1.Deputy Mayor Verawat Khakhay (left) leads the latest city hall flood reaction meeting after heavy rains brought floods Oct. 1.

The deputy mayor, this time, basically conceded that Pattaya is going to flood any time it gets an hour of heavy rain and instead focused his promises of assistance to recovering from flood damage.

He called workers from the Office of Natural Resources to work diligently and pledged salaried workers and volunteers would work to keep drains cleared, but mostly focused on what happens after the water inevitably backs up.

More city workers would take to flooded streets with flashlights to divert cars to less-flooded streets, he promised. Verawat also requested more pumps form the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Verawat also made the usual impassioned pleas for residents to not dump trash and cooking grease down drains and clear floating rubbish from drainage grates during storms.

City officials have talked themselves blue in the face for years with such pledges and promises and the only real hope of flood relief rests in a 27 million project commissioned with the Center for Water Engineering and Infrastructure Research at King Mongkut’s University of Technology in Bangkok, which has been hired to study the cause and possible solutions.

Over coming months, researchers will be tasked with inspecting, designing, evaluating and planning a water-drainage system to prevent and solve flooding. The center will study appropriate measures to solve the issue, keeping in mind budgetary, environmental and public constraints.

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