Re: “Artists say no to sluice gate on Pak Pra canal”, National, October 8.
A group of artists has staged a unique protest against the planned construction of a sluice gate on the Pak Pra canal near Songkhla Lake where the country’s first protected Ramsar wetland site of Phu Kuan Ki Sian was declared 20 years ago.
The protest took the form of an exhibition, set up on Pak Pra bridge, of more than 100 photos of the way of life and nature along the canal, with its iconic giant “Yor” fishing nets featuring prominently.
The Royal Irrigation Department plans to build the sluice gate to prevent saltwater intrusion from Songkhla Lake. Yet the elders of Pak Pra reckon this has been a serious problem only twice in the past 100 years or so. Pak Pra canal receives water from the Banthat mountain range in Khao Phu-Khao Ya national park, and the current should be enough to keep saltwater levels low.
Is a sluice gate necessary on Pak Pra canal? Locals, backed by the artists, say it would threaten the natural and cultural beauty of the place.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit the area every year. Why? For its unique way of life, rich ecosystem and biodiversity, and the glorious sight of its Yor nets against dawn skies.
Leave the natural surroundings of Pak Pra alone so that visitors and locals alike can continue to enjoy them.