Premier calms ripples over water-management scheme
July 17, 2013 00:00
By Jeerapong Prasertpolkrung,
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi and Chart Thai Pattana Party's de facto leader Banharn Silapa-archa, to clear up a row over the water-management scheme.
Yingluck met with the two, as well as Banharn’s close aide Somsak Prissananantakul and Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Yukol Limlamthong, for about an hour in the morning at Phitsanulok House. The media were not allowed to cover the event.
After the meeting, Yukol said the disagreement between Banharn and Plodprasop had been cleared up and Banharn was now in a good mood.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Banharn called on the government to amend the water-management scheme’s regulations so that more agencies could take part. His remarks were made in response to Plodprasop’s criticism of the agriculture ministry and its part in the scheme.
Banharn also said Plodprasop, who chairs the Water and Flood Management Commission (WFMC) overseeing the government's Bt350-billion water-management scheme, had refused to push for construction of a dam in Nonthaburi’s Bang Kruai district and a water gate in Bang Bua Thong district – as proposed by his party.
A source, who asked not to be named, said Plodprasop told the premier during the meeting that his comments about the agriculture ministry were not accurately reported. During the meeting Yingluck also promised to provide a Bt400-million budget to sponsor construction projects proposed by Banharn.
Scheduled to visit Sara Buri, Ayutthaya and Nonthaburi today and on Friday, Yingluck decided after the meeting that she would also go to inspect the location for the proposed water gate in Bang Bua Thong this Friday, the source said.