Thai PM asked the Army to speed up dredging canal to make room for future upstream water

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SINGBURI, 14 June 2012  – The prime minister has asked the Royal Thai Army to speedily complete the dredging of a canal in central Thailand to make room for future upstream water. 

Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, who chairs the Wafer and Flood Management Committee, said that his inspection of the state-initiated flood prevention project on Tuesday and Wednesday found that many programs have achieved satisfactory progresses.

Mr. Plodprasop said that one of the initiatives that have progressed markedly is the preparation of the Kam-Ling water retention area in Singburi Province, where a 200,000-rai plot is expected to accommodate up to 523 million cubic meters of water or 10 percent of the planned retention capacity of 5 billion cubic meters, in central Thailand.

He added that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who led the 4-day inspection trip, has ordered officials in Ayutthaya, Chainat and Singburi to work collaboratively with the Royal Irrigation Department in controlling water mass that will pass through the area.

The PM also instructed the Royal Irrigation Department and the Public Works and Town & Country Planning Department to explain to farmers in related areas about the need of early harvest before the peak of the rainy season in August,

At the same time, state agencies in charge of the road and highway structure have been urged to urgently level the surfaces of all routes that will act as waterway for the Kam-Ling water retention area.

Meanwhile, the Premier has asked the Royal Thai Army to speedily complete the dredging of Noi River in Bang Rachan District of Singburi Province without separating manpower into 3 shifts in order that the project will meet its deadline in August.

PM Yingluck said that after the dredging, Noi River will be able to accommodate up to 230 million cubic meters of water.

Lastly, Science and Technology Minister Plodprasop said that the government’s Single Command Center for disaster management is ready to relay important information, such as storm and tidal reports as well as water management updates to those in need.

He added that the government is confident in its flood handling measures, with the latest calculation stating that if Thailand would be hit by 28 billion cubic meters of floodwater, not more than 1.2 billion will flow downstream to central Thailand. Mr. Plodprasop affirmed that the expected spill will not lead to river overflow and flooding in Bangkok, Pathum Thani and Nonthaburi.