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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs      3 October  2011                  

Roadways could restrain floods

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The Thai Department of Rural Roads will look into building flood-wall roads along waterways in more than 20 river basins.

Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke said roads built along the rivers could serve as flood walls that prevent water run-off from the rivers from flooding residential areas along the riverbanks.

"A road that could be used as a flood wall to prevent the Chao Phraya River from flooding Bang Khen district is the Tiwanon-Ha Yaek Pakkret Road. As the road is quite high, it could be used as a flood wall," said Pol Lt Gen Chatt.

Wicharn Khunakoonsawat, director-general of the Department of Rural Roads, said there are 25 river basins in Thailand. The construction of riverside roads at all 25 river basins must be in line with the national master plan on flood prevention.

The master plan outlines which kinds of riverside roads should be built in each area. In some areas, for example, the drafters of the plan had suggested the riverside roads should be similar to mud dams.

The department would explore the possible impact of roads shaped like mud dams on water retention efforts. Mud-dam roads may help prevent flooding in certain areas, but at the expense of flooding in other areas, Mr Wicharn said.

In certain areas, authorities would have to construct more sewage systems, he added.

The recent flooding has affected 57 provinces and damaged more than 577 roads, Pol Lt Gen Chatt said. Provinces with the most damaged roads are Nakhon Sawan, Phichit, Sing Buri, and Chainat where flood levels have kept rising.

The Department of Rural Roads has been providing assistance to flood-affected people, he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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