Yingluck asked to review water plan

national April 30, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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A group, led by the Seub Nakhasathien Foundation, will today call on Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to review the government's Bt350-billion plan to implement nine modules of water-management and flood-prevention scheme.

The move comes days ahead of the Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC) May 3 deadline for bid submission.

“We will submit an open letter to the prime minister,” said yesterday.

The group comprises Thai Water Partnership Foundation, Thaiflood.com and a network for the society and environment.

The group yesterday announced that the plan for the nine modules would cause grave damages. “Clearly, the plan excluded the participation of local people in areas that will be affected by the nine modules. This is in violation of the 2007 Constitution,” the foundation’s secretary-general Sasin Chalermlarp said.

He pointed out that the terms of reference also allowed bidders to get 5 per cent of their fees in advance, which raises the possibility of this money being used as bribes to create false environmental or health impact assessments.

“Apart from this, the plan does not show how these projects will be integrated. There is also no detail about which agency will supervise each module,” Sasin said.

Nititorn Lamlua, a board member of the Lawyers Council of Thailand, said the network would also lodge a complaint with the National Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday.

“The government has abused its authority in going ahead with this water-management plan. We suspect corruption,” he said.

He added that his network would wait to see how the Central Administrative Court would rule on Utain Shartpinyo’s petition.

Last week, Utain – a former adviser to Yingluck – asked the court for an injunction on the acceptance of bids for water-management and flood-prevention projects.

“If the injunction is not issued, we seek another by citing the fact that the government needs to honour the constitutional stipulation that all project need public participation from the very start. We may file a complaint against the Cabinet and WFMC,” Nititorn said.