Bangkok, November 24, 2011 —
Bangkok Governor M.R. Sukhumbhand Paribatra joined in weekend clean-up operations in several districts of Bangkok and Thon Buri where floodwaters have fully receded, allowing the Thai capital to embark upon a return to normalcy.
On Saturday, 19 November, the city governor led workers from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and volunteers from all walks of life to clean up the Lad Phrao 5-way intersection and nearby areas. This is the intersection right in front of Chatuchak Weekend Market and the Central Department Store complex, which includes the Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok.
Twenty-five water-trucks were deployed for cleaning up the debris and residue left behind by the floods. The clean-up also saw a massive turnout by the Thai public, private sector companies, the army and police.
The Governor thanked all related parties and volunteers for joining the event. He also said that city hall will organise cleaning activities in other flood-affected areas and expects to complete the clean-up before 31 December as a New Year gift for Bangkok residents.
On Sunday, 20 November, M.R. Sukhumbhand participated in another clean-up ceremony in the Bangkok Noi area on the Thon Buri side of the Chao Phraya River. This area includes the Siriraj Hospital and numerous department stores popular with Thai people in the area of Borom Ratchachonnani Road, Arun Amarin Road and Charansanitwong Road.
Later, he proceeded to the Tesco Lotus on Charansanitwong Road where there was another massive clean-up supported by the Thai public.
On Monday, 21 November, Thailand’s historic central province of Ayutthaya, one of the worst affected by the recent floods, held a ‘Big Cleaning Day’ for the Bang Pa-In Industrial Estate after floodwaters were drained, according to Ayutthaya Governor Wittaya Phewpong. The clean-up will help rehabilitate the estate and restore foreign investor confidence.
Bang Pa-In Industrial Estate is one of seven industrial estates and parks in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani including Saha Rattana Nakhon, Rojana, Hi-Tech, Factory Land, Nava Nakhon and Bangkadi that were forced to close by the deep floodwaters.
Mr Wittaya said that the Labour, Industry, and Public Health Ministries cooperated to revive the Bang Pa-In Industrial Estate in accordance with its 58 day-rehabilitation plan, from 20 October – 16 December.
The clean-up will allow the factory owners to start repairing plants damaged by the flood, he said. It is expected that the factories could resume running their production lines and workers return to their duties by 16 December, he said.
Meanwhile, at Rojana Industrial Estate, also in Ayutthaya, powerful water pumps with a capacity of 24,000 cubic metres per day have been operating round-the-clock, leading to significant reductions in the water levels.
With assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which provided 10 pump vehicles, it was expected that the mission to revive all three phases of the Rojana Industrial Estate could be completed by next week, according to a report on the Mass Communications Organisation of Thailand website.
As these clean-up operations gain ground, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will spread the message vigorously to ensure a return to normalcy as soon as possible.
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “We are happy that the turnaround has begun and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It will be much easier to mount a bounce back campaign and push out positive news, which we know is being eagerly awaited by all our friends, partners and potential visitors worldwide.”