Interior Minister to inspect Northeast drought

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BANGKOK, Nov 27 — Interior Minister Gen Anupong Paochinda will inspect a possible drought in the Northeast and will give his policy for dealing with the problem to senior officials during his visit to Khon Kaen province on Wednesday. 

Gen Anupong told journalists that the ministry has prepared necessary equipment and prepared plans to cope with drought, such as preparing more artesian wells for public use.

The lack of rainfall during the past rainy season had worried the authorities who fear that a severe drought in the country is probably unavoidable.

Asked whether he is worried by people opposed to the junta as majority of northeasterners support the previous government toppled by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) on May 22, Gen Anupong said every Thai realises that people’s opinions could differ, but they should not lead to severe conflict.

Developments in every area must be achieved from peace with people living in harmony, Gen Anupong said, adding that he is not worried as the public understands well that conflict would bring about lost opportunities and pose an obstacle for development.

Another caretaker government policy is to reduce accidents in the country to below 10 persons in every 100,000 people.

Road incidents are responsible for the largest number of Thai deaths by accident, as well as injuring and leaving many others crippled, he said. The Road Safety Centre is the key government agency for preventing and reducing road accidents on a regular basis.

Motorists should be more careful and try to reduce accidents, and must realize that more than 14,000 road accidents happen ever year”, Gen Anupong added.