The Royal Irrigation Department (RID) chief still hopes to build the controversial Mae Wong Dam in Nakhon Sawan province and says the loss of 12,000 rai (4,744 acres) of forestland for the project will be compensated with 30,000 rai of reforested area.
Lertviroj Kowattana said yesterday the department was working on a strategic plan for water management, which should be ready to be submitted this month.
He said the department had to follow proper procedures with the dam project and it needed approval from the Office of the National Environmental Board.
He said the RID had added public proposals to the plan and explained that to the Engineering Institute of Thailand – which claims that has not happened.
In response to environmental damage the dam would case, he said 150 million rai of forestland had been damaged from things like logging and at least the dam would be beneficial during periods of drought and in mitigating flooding.
Lertviroj said a need for reservoirs existed, so people should regard the environmental damage as acceptable, although the project plan called for reforestation.