Plodprasop seeks budget for huge seawall project
Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi wants a huge budget to build a giant dam along the Gulf of Thailand to prevent inland flooding caused by seawater intrusion."After April we'll start studying this project full steam. We must do it. For those disagreeing with it, I will ask them to write their names on the wall and remember, if one day there's a massive flood, not to blame me," he said.
Plodprasop, who chairs the Water and Flood Management Commission, said he would propose this idea to the government after the commission finishes the bidding for the Bt350-billion Water Management Master Plan project in April.
There are many construction options depending on the environmental impact, technology and budget.
"We'll take a year to conduct the study and then we'll know how much money we'll spend and how to build this dam," he said.
Local contractors might not be able to tackle this kind of dam project due to their limited knowledge and capacity, he said.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has downplayed reports about the establishment of a Ministry of Water, according to a Government House source.
Plodprasop has said the ministry is in the process of being formed, but the source said Yingluck had stressed it was just a suggestion that has not been finalised. There was a discussion about it when the government had just taken office and was dealing with the flood crisis.
"The idea involves the amendment of several laws and would not be completed within this government's term,'' the source said.
The Office of National Water and Flood Management Policy (ONWFMP), which has been transferred to the Office of the PM's Permanent Secretary, has the status of a department. It oversees the bidding on projects related to solving water and flood problems.
"We have to see if it's necessary to upgrade the ONWFMP into a ministry. At this moment it's not necessary. The PM has never said the office would be upgraded into a ministry,'' the source said.