PM satisfied with water management plan

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BANGKOK, June 14 – Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said on Thursday that she is satisfied with the overall national water management plan and is confident that it will be completed on schedule.

The premier expressed her assessment at a news conference as she concluded her four-day tour to inspect the progress of flood prevention plans in eight provinces.

Ms Yingluck said she is satisfied with the overall work in each province as they followed the government’s plans.

The premier said that canal dredging in midstream and downstream provinces is 60-70 per cent complete but conceded there are some work delays in the upstream provinces.

Regarding infrastructure projects, the premier stated, governors of the upstream provinces were instructed to finish all projects within this month, midstream provinces by July and downstream provinces by August.

The prime minister asserted her government has operated at its full capacity for efficient water management plan but could not guarantee that there will be no flooding as the likely amount of water is still unclear.

Ms Yingluck reaffirmed, however, that this year’s flooding will not be as severe as last year’s, while admitting that she is concerned that people living along canals and rivers might be affected as water spills over the banks.

The premier said the government is ready to hear complaints and recommendations on the matter as this is a national agenda which needs cooperation from all parties, while those who are now working to solve the problems also need moral support.

Science and Technology Minister Plodprasob Surasawadee on Thursday urged the public not to worry about the situation as this year the government has full and real-time information which can forecast the flood situation three or four days in advance.

The minister also reasserted Bangkok will not be flooded like last year as sufficient budget has been allocated for canal dredging work so that the canals can be waterways.

Mr Plodprasob added he will inspect the flood prevention work of Bangkok within the next two weeks.

Royal Chitradon, chairman of the water drainage committee, said the flood situation in Bangkok and its adjacent provinces will be improved compared to last year as problems have been fixed.

Mr Royal explained that the water drainage in eastern and western Bangkok will be more efficiently conducted.

He added Bangkok will not be flooded if the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the government understand the water management principle that the waterflow must not be obstructed.