Friday, November 4, 2011

Sluice gates closed to save Bangchan industrial estate

Sluice gates closed to save Bangchan industrial estate

The flood menace to the Bangchan Industrial Estate and its 93 factories in eastern Bangkok eased yesterday after the sluice gates of Canals 8, 9 and 10 in Pathum Thani were closed, but not without protest.

Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra indicated that the action was taken to reduce the risk to the 677-rai industrial park.

However, locals have demanded that the Flood Relief Operation Centre open Canal 9's gate immediately.

The massive flood has already wiped out all industrial parks in Ayutthaya and Pathum Thani and is now invading the capital.

The management of the Bangchan Industrial Estate and its factories as well as authorities are trying to put up the best defence possible.

Soldiers and workers from the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand are now monitoring water level in canals and Kratiam Pond near the estate all the time.

On its eastern side lies Saen Saeb Canal, whose nearest gate is now open. Boats are being used to expel the water as fast as possible to lower the canal's level.

A source said the estate's executives noticed that the water in the Bangchan Canal, which runs right into the heart of the estate, was flowing fast.

Most manufacturing facilities here are producing food and beverages for familiar brands such as Farmhouse and Hanami.

Residents of Pracha Ruamjai Road also rallied to demand that a sluice gate of Saen Saeb Canal near their neighbourhood be lifted by one extra metre.

The locals said if the gate was higher, flooding in their community, which is now submerged under 30 centimetres of floodwater, would subside.

Sources said if the gate was opened wider, Bangchan Industrial Estate and Bang Kapi, Ramkhamhaeng and Hua Mark roads would all be inundated.
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