Water management project
Firms consulted on location of floodway
Budget limitations require input for terms of reference
The Water and Flood Management Commission has asked the three contenders for Module 5 bidding about the location for a single floodway before finalising the terms of reference (TOR).
Representatives of Korea Water Resources Corporation, ITD Power China Joint Venture and Japan-Thai Joint Venture were summoned on Wednesday.
Module 5 covers the building of floodways and flood-diversion channels that could drain 1,500 cubic metres of water per second. The module is worth Bt120 billion or 34 per cent of the Bt350-billion plan.
Apichart Anukularmphai, a member of the commission, said yesterday that their opinions were necessary since there are proposals for floodways to be built on the east and west sides of the Chao Phraya River, but with the limited budget of Bt120 billion, there can be only a single channel.
The three contenders came up with different routes for the floodway and diversion channel along the river.
"It will be clearly identified in the TOR where we want the floodway to be. There will be no option, as that would pose a problem for pricing comparison. Floodways are something new, leading to fears that they are not feasible. We need to rethink. Though there's an obstacle, it's necessary to solve long-term problems."
The TOR are expected to be completed this week.
Water experts have warned that the project will not be completed within five years, as land expropriation is involved.
"It would take at least 20 years to complete this project. It won't be easy to take land back from local people," said Pramote Maikrad, a former senator and water expert.
Professor Thanawat Jarupongsakul, head of Chulalongkorn University's Unit for Disaster and Land Information Studies, said the scale of this project would not be enough to solve the flood problem. The floodway or flood-diversion channel needs to drain at least 3,000 cubic metres of water per second.
However, Apichart said he believed that this project could be completed by the deadline and so could the project to set up the water and flood database centre and medium-size dams.
But a big dam like Kaeng Sue Ten would not be completed within five years because of opposition from locals and environmental concerns.
"The committee will consult with legal experts later about who would pay compensation and interest if a contractor has already conducted an environmental impact assessment or EHIA [environment and health impact assesment], but was then unable to enter the construction site because of a protest by the local community," he said.
The commission next week will come up with the final TOR that will be sent to the contractors to make their new proposals and submit them to the commission within 45 days to enter the final bid, he said.