June 25, 2014 00:00
By Jeerapong Prasertpolkrung
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL for Peace and Order (NCPO) is planning to set up a water ministry, an informed source said yesterday.
The source said the NCPO had consulted several agencies during the past month about this idea.
“The NCPO is expected to set up a national water commission to work further on this plan.”
The plan is similar to former deputy prime minister Plodprasop Suraswadi’s idea of upgrading the Office of the National Water and Flood Management Policy into a ministry.
But in fact even before Plodprasop came to office, the idea of a water ministry had been circulating for at least two decades. Several politicians and officials wanted to establish such a ministry in the hope of managing water-related issues better.
Thailand faces both droughts and floods every year. The latest flood crisis hit the country in 2011, submerging seven industrial estates and displacing millions of people.
The Office of the National Water and Flood Management Policy was established in the wake of the 2011 flood disaster. Although it remains in operation, government officials from other relevant agencies have stopped coming to work at this office.
Apparently, it has already stopped functioning as a single-command centre.
Even its secretary-general Suphot Tovichakchaikul, who is also deputy permanent secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, was not seen at the office yesterday.