Govt diverting water to sea to tackle flood in central provinces

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BANGKOK, Oct 13 – Thailand’s National Flood Relief Centre on Thursday is to expedite water drainage through canals to the main rivers in the east and to the west of the central plain into the Gulf of Thailand to resolve the flood crisis in Thailand’s central provinces, according to centre spokesman Wim Rungwattanachinda.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra accompanied by Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha and officials from water management agencies will fly to inspect waterways from upstream Chai Nat to the lower central provinces to map out an implementation plan, said Mr Wim, who is also a secretary of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

For the western part of the Chao Phraya River basin, the new plan is to dredge several canals and to build many canal shortcuts, modelled on the Lad Pho canal in Samut Prakan province, King Bhumibol’s initiative, to speed up draining water from the Chao Phraya River in Chai Nat into canals and the Tha Chin River into the Gulf of Thailand via Samut Sakorn province.

For the eastern part of the Chao Phraya River basin, the water from the river will be diverted into canals into the Banprakong River flowing in the Gulf of Thailand via Chachoengsao province.

The plan to speed up draining water from the Chao Phraya River into several canals to relieve flood in hardest-hit Ayutthaya and other central provinces came after the monarch granted an audience with Ms Yingluck Wednesday evening at Siriraj Hospital and gave his advice on how to tackle the flood crisis.