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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     2 November  2011

All Bangkok districts at risk

All 50 districts in Bangkok were still at risk of flooding after a sluice gate in Khlong Sam Wa was opened to a metre-wide, Bangkok deputy governor Thirachon Manomaipiboon said on Tuesday.

The first three districts that would face the flood were Bang Kapi, Saphan Sung and Bung Kum, Mr Thirachon said.

"Previously, we thought that 19 districts might not experience flooding but now none of them will be safe," the deputy governor said.

Rehabilitation project questioned
MPs yesterday questioned the government's New Thailand project to manage the country's water-related problems, which will require as much as Bt800 billion in funding.

Opposition Democrat MPs and a senator expressed doubts about the government's ability to secure sufficient funds for the project.

However, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said yesterday the funding estimate of between Bt600 billion and Bt800 billion put forward by Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan was only a preliminary figure. A study was still needed to determine the project's details and required budget, she said.

Recovery plans move ahead
The Thai cabinet on Tuesday agreed in principle to post-flood rehabilitation measures proposed by the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and set up a new centre to guide the reconstruction of the flooded the industrial estates.

Information and Communications Technology Minister Anudith Nakhonthap said the NESDB proposed broad measures without going into detail on how much money would be needed for their implementation.

The various ministries would work out their implementation plans and required timeframes.

The government attached importance to all sectors - whether agriculture, industry or fields of occupation - affected by the flooding.

Industrial estates to get power
The Provincial Electricity Authority is ready to resume full power supply to 7 inundated industrial estates in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani within 30 days.

PEA Governor Narongsak Kamales said that initially, the 7 industrial estates need power to pump out massive water. Then, when the process is completed and factories are ready to resume operations, the full supply would be restored, likely in 30 days.

Food imports increased
Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong promised speedy imports of food and drinking water, to ease the severe shortages in several parts of the country.

Referring to the Cabinet’s meeting this week, he said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra instructed all to do their best in helping flood victims. Under the Commerce Ministry’s responsibility, shortages of food must be addressed.

He said that such items would be imported from Asean countries including 7 million eggs from Malaysia and Hong Kong. The ministry will also import 400,000 canned food and 1 million drinking water bottles. He expected all to arrive in Thailand within this week.

Flood death totals
A total of 384 people were confirmed dead in the floods that have inundated many provinces since July 25, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said on Tuesday.

The floods still prevail in 147 districts of 26 provinces, affecting 2,110,152 people, the department said.

The provinces are Phichit, Phitsanulok, Nakhon Sawan, Uthai Thani, Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Angthong, Ayutthaya, Lopburi, Saraburi, Suphan Buri, Nakhon Pathom, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Samut Sakhon, Ubon Ratchathani, Khon Kaen, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Roi Et, Mahasarakham, Kalasin, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Nayok, Prachin Buri and Bangkok.

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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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