Ministry rejects flood compensation demand
Pracha Terat, deputy permanent secretary at the Interior Ministry, yesterday insisted that the ministry would not meet the flood compensation demands of road-blocking demonstrators because payments must be equal for everybody and Bt20,000-per-home for all households was not possible.If the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration had promised to pay them, then the BMA should use its own budget, he said. The government had to maintain the same standard for all flood-hit provinces, or else it would lead to non-stop complaining, he said.
Pracha said another about 200,000 flood-affected people had applied for flood money despite the date for collecting compensation having been set, and now there were attempts to pressure the government to pay Bt20,000 to each household.
Pracha said officials had checked the facts and insisted the government had already paid flood compensation to 91 per cent of the flood-affected people.
He said the BMA had claimed the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department (DPMD) had sent a five-item remedial list to the city but other provinces were sent an eight-item remedial list.
Pracha denied this, however, saying the 58 provinces that had already received flood compensation were given it under the five-item remedial list.
Deputy BMA governor Theerachon Manomaipibul yesterday reported that the Interior Ministry had turned down the city's request for an additional Bt400 million budget to pay flood compensation of Bt20,000 to Bangkokians. He said if people were not happy about this compensation they could appeal and those who did not register for the flood compensation could still do so at their district offices.
Don Muang district director Phumipat Damrongkiattisak said the district would explain to the demonstrators, who gathered outside the office yesterday afternoon, that the district was not authorised to pay compensation but only to survey the flood victims' names and pass them on to the central administration.
He said the district had 30,000 people eligible to collect compensation and Krung Thai Bank had wired the money to 8,000 and sent the cheques to the district office for some 2,000 other people. Payment to the remaining 20,000 eligible persons should be made by July 20.
Democrat Bangkok MP Attawit Suwanpakdee said yesterday the BMA had tried to solve the compensation problem but the DPMD's standards were not clear about flood payments. It treated Bangkokians as inferior by offering them the five-item remedial list, not the eight-item remedial list sent to upcountry people.
He said Bangkokians missed out on compensation of Bt3,500 for kitchenware, Bt1,000 for clothing and Bt500 for bedding sets. He urged the government to clarify the situation within two days, or else he would regard it as playing political games ahead of the city governor's election.
Attawit also urged the government to speedily dredge Khlong Bang Sue and Khlong Lat Phrao.
PM's Office inspector for Region 18, Wisut Nirattiwongsakorn, will visit Nakhon Sawan on July 20 to follow through on spending of the flood rehabilitation budget as well as checking the progress of flood prevention projects in Muang district, before visiting Uthai Thani in the afternoon.