Govt faces growing pressure Skip to main content

Govt faces growing pressure

Govt faces growing pressure

Inner city safe from floods, says Pracha; PM soothes rural anger

As the nation's capital and most important economic zone, Bangkok must not be allowed to flood, the head of national flood-relief efforts said yesterday.

"We have given priority to Bangkok. We must protect it," Justice Minister Pol General Pracha Promnok said yesterday in his capacity as the head of the Flood Relief Operation Command (FROC).

He offered a guarantee that Bangkok's inner zones would be safe. "Only the outer zones will be affected," Pracha said. "We will push water out to sea via three main channels." A surge in run-off water from the upper part of the country is expected to reach the capital today amid concerns that, coupled with downpours and a high tide, it will cause Bangkok to flood catastrophically, as has occurred in Nakhon Sawan and Ayutthaya.

While relevant authorities are now going all out to save Bangkok, flood victims from many provinces attacked the government's decision to prioritise the capital.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday sought to appease disgruntled upcountry residents. "The government is concerned about people in all provinces. It's not about preferential treatment. But we need to protect the economic zones," she said. She emphasised that Bangkok was the heart of Thailand's economy. "We need to join hands" in protecting the economic zones, she said.

Royal Irrigation Department director-general Chalit Damrongsak said his department had ensured that dams released the smallest amount of water possible.

"The Bhumibol Dam has now lowered the volume of water discharge to about 60 million cubic metres a day," he said.

He said the flood-water level in Nakhon Sawan had stopped rising. "It's bottomed out," he said.

Chalit said that when the run-off water reached Bangkok this weekend, the water level in the Chao Phraya River was expected to reach between 2.3 and 2.4 metres. "The embankment is as high as 2.5 metres," he added, "so Bangkok should be safe."

To minimise the possibility of comments or remarks by politicians and government agencies causing confusion or panic, official statements from the FROC will now be made by Pracha only. In particular, statements announcing emergencies or urgent situations will only be made on TV Pool channels.
Asked about the danger of any more inaccurate statements causing a level of doubt among the public that could lead to dangerous delays in acting on valid information, Yingluck said: "This occurred only once, and I will address the issue internally to sort it out."

Bangkok city clerk Charoenrat Chutikarn said the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) would take care of residents of the capital during the crisis.

"We are going to be the main pillar. The Bangkok governor has told all directors of Bangkok's district offices to stay calm and manage the situation efficiently. The country has already suffered enough from the leadership vacuum," he said in a thinly veiled attack against the central government.

Pracha said there were now three important floodwalls for the capital. One is in Pathum Thani's Muang district. This floodwall is now under the supervision of the Royal Thai Army.
Another is situated along the Taweewattana Canal along Bangkok's border with Nakhon Pathom's Salaya district.

The other one is located along a portion of Rangsit Prayoonsak Canal. "Another floodwall is going up along another portion of this canal. The construction of the floodwall will be completed within two days," he said.

Meanwhile, Army commander General Prayuth Chan-ocha said Army engineers were dredging three major canals in Samut Sakhon to speed up drainage of water out to estuaries. He said the dredging should be completed in the next five days and it is expected to convey the water faster.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chronology of the Press in Burma

1836 – 1846 * During this period the first English-language newspaper was launched under British-ruled Tenasserim, southern  Burma . The first ethnic Karen-language and Burmese-language newspapers also appear in this period.     March 3, 1836 —The first English-language newspaper,  The Maulmain Chronicle , appears in the city of Moulmein in British-ruled Tenasserim. The paper, first published by a British official named E.A. Blundell, continued up until the 1950s. September 1842 —Tavoy’s  Hsa-tu-gaw  (the  Morning Star ), a monthly publication in the Karen-language of  Sgaw ,  is established by the Baptist mission. It is the first ethnic language newspaper. Circulation reached about three hundred until its publication ceased in 1849. January 1843 —The Baptist mission publishes a monthly newspaper, the Christian  Dhamma  Thadinsa  (the  Religious Herald ), in Moulmein. Supposedly the first Burmese-language newspaper, it continued up until the first year of the second Angl

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyright LELUXHOSPITAL Image caption Authorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break do

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks

Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference. Villagers from Kyauktaw township in western Myanmar's Rakhine state discuss the government military's attacks on their communities at press conference in Sittwe, March 30, 2020. They made the comments after traveling from in Kyauktaw township to the state capital Sittwe to give testimony on a series of attacks on civilian dwellings amid a government-imposed internet shutdown in nine townships in Rakhine and neighboring Chin state, cutting off vital information about the fighting. They villagers accused the Myanmar Army of conducting an aerial bombing on civilian communities that destroyed about 150 homes and a monastery in Pyaing Taing village, while government soldiers on the g