Interior Minister: Public land will be used as primary water retention areas

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BANGKOK, 27 March 2012 – The Minister of Interior has urged the governors of 19 provinces designated as water retention areas to personally communicate with local residents that public lands will be the government’s primary choice for monkey cheeks.

Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit yesterday presided over a video conference with 19 provincial governors of water retention areas on the progress of monkey cheeks and other urgent flood prevention projects. The 19 provinces which have been assigned as water retention areas include Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Chainat, Phitsanulok, Kamphaeng Phet, Uthai Thani, Phichit, Nakhon Sawan, Suphan Buri, Ayutthaya, Singhburi, Ang Thong, Lopburi, Saraburi, Nakhon Nayok, Samut Prakan, Chachoengsao, Nakorn Pathom and Pathum Thani.

Mr. Yongyuth has also ordered all relevant parties to speedily come up with flood prevention measures as well as a clear framework aimed at assisting and reviving flood victims. Additionally, provincial governors have been urged to inform local residents that the government will use public lands as the primary source of water retention areas.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Theera Wongsamut stated that the ministries of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Natural Resources and Environment, and Interior have been tasked with finding a 2 million-rai area capable of retaining up to 5 billion cubic meters of water in time of flood. However, the holding capacity of the Chao Phraya River must also be taken into consideration in order to prevent future flooding.