BANGKOK, 6 August 2012 -Deputy Transport Minister Pol Lt-Gen Chat Kuldilok said the construction of the multi-purpose port in Trad province should carry on as it would increase export value for Thailand by as much as 20-30 billion baht per year despite its minor impact on the eco-system of mangrove forest in the province.
The port construction project, overseen by the Marine Department, is worth 1.3 billion baht and is supervised by the ITD – UNIQUE Joint Venture. It will be two kilometers in length, with a one- kilometer long stone breakwater within its vicinity. Thirty buildings will also be erected around the port. However, a small portion of a mangrove forest nearby will be uprooted to pave the way for the construction.
The mangrove forest, which is protected by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, will be inaccessible to the contractors unless they are given an approval by the Cabinet. However, while awaiting the nod from the cabinet allowing contractors to encroach on the mangrove forest, the construction of the bridge which is part of the whole project should begin now, given it will take nearly three years to complete, said the Deputy Transport Minister.
He said the bridge would serve as an export route for Thai products to the surrounding countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam, and China when the ASEAN Economic Community is officially established in 2015. As for the problem with the mangrove forest, Pol Lt-Gen Chat said he will discuss with Natural Resources and Environment Minister Preecha Rengsomboon in order to address the issue.