Nine-day road blockade in South costs Bt3 billion


BANGKOK, Sept 5 – The blockade of roads in Thailand’s southern region since August 27 by rubber growers’ protesting falling rubber prices has cost Thailand at least Bt3 billion, according to transport and logistics operators.

Members of the Thai Transportation and Logistics Association (TTLA) called on Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt to air their grievances given damages to their businesses from the rubber farmers’ demonstration and the closure of highways and railroads.

They said rubber sheets and sticks, destined for Malaysia, had to be transported to Laem Chabang port in the East while more than 10,000 tonnes of rubber sheets could not be sent out of the country.

The road and railway blockades have also affected the country’s exports of seafood, while production of electronics products depends on at least 60 per cent of their parts from Malaysia, they said.

They said imports through the South were completely halted and damages from the road blockade were at least Bt300 million per day, or some Bt3 billion so far.

Mr Chadchart said the Highways Department and Rural Roads Department were instructed to find alternate roads for transportation and logistics, adding that the problem should be solved in the near future.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra urged the authorities to be patient in dealing and negotiating with the protesters and discouraged the farmers from closing significant buildings, especially airports.