Friday, November 4, 2011

Lat Krabang estate at risk Expert tells Froc it must hasten runoff drainage

Lat Krabang Industrial Estate in the east of Bangkok will be swamped by floods if rapidly advancing runoff cannot be drained quickly enough.
Yingluck lends a hand
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is surrounded by flood victims who turned up in large numbers to receive food donations from her on Song Prapha Road yesterday. The premier visited the residents of flooded areas in Don Muang and handed them flood survival necessities. CHANAT KATANYU
Somchet Thinaphong, chairman of the board of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, yesterday urged the Flood Relief Operations Command (Froc) to speed the drainage of runoff threatening the estate or it would be flooded by overflow from the Saen Saep canal.
A mother and child live underneath the expressway near Chaeng Watthana Road yesterday. They and several other families have moved out of their flooded houses along Khlong Prapa. PATTANAPONG HIRUNARD
Mr Somchet, the former governor of the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, said that overflow from the Saen Saep canal had now inundated Rat Uthit Road and swept into the fields in the north and the west of the estate.
The runoff was also flowing into canal networks around the estate, Mr Somchet said.
He said the water has continued to surge and advance towards the estate even though the sluice gates at Khlong 8-10 at the lower line of Khlong Hok Wa in Pathum Thani were ordered closed by the Froc yesterday.
The sluice gates are intended to regulate the water flow in the Saen Saep canal.
The Froc must drain the water as quickly as possible otherwise Lat Krabang Industrial Estate would be hit by floods within 24 hours, Mr Somchet said.
However, more than 100 nearby residents yesterday turned up to protest the closure of the Khlong 9 sluice gate _ one of the three sluice gates _ at the lower line of Khlong Hok Wa.
They said the gate closure would put vast areas of their farmland and catfish breeding ponds in danger of flooding.
More than 100 policemen were sent to maintain order and the Pathum Thani deputy governor arrived shortly afterwards to negotiate with representatives of the protesters.
Volunteers help roll up effective microorganism balls at the Amarin Plaza shopping complex near Ratchaprasong Road yesterday. The making of theEMballs will continue until tomorrow. CHUNPORN SANGVILERT
An agreement has been reached that the Khlong 9 sluice gate will remain open and that the Royal Irrigation Department must install 27 water pumps to drain floodwater in their communities by Monday.
The residents agreed to disperse after their demands were met. Their representatives said they would meet for talks about the closure of the sluice gate with authorities again if and when flood levels in their communities receded.
A source at the Froc said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and authorities at the command were confident the Froc would be able to control the flood situation at Lat Krabang Industrial Estate.
Experts at the Froc believed that when construction of the flood barrier using giant sandbags is completed, it will help stem the flow of the northern runoff on Vibhavadi Rangsit and Phahon Yothin roads in the capital.
The 6km levee will run alongside the railway track from Chulalongkorn sluice gate in Pathum Thani's Thanya Buri district to Don Muang railway station.
The source also said the height of the controversial Khlong Sam Wa sluice gate must be lowered from the current 100cm to 80cm in order to spare the Lat Krabang and Bangchan industrial estates from the deluge.
Armedsecurityguards patrol Ratiro Park housing estate on Suan Phak Road in Taling Chan district. JETJARASNARANONG
Froc director and Justice Minister Pracha Promnok said the repairs of the Khlong Sam Wa sluice gate by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) have been completed.
Froc has fully cooperated with the BMA in handling the flood problem.
The BMA needed sandbags and workers to fight the floods and the Froc has made sure all these demands from the BMA are met.
Pol Gen Pracha said the Froc had no problems in working with the BMA as the BMA's drainage director was working at the Froc.
Asked why floodwater is spreading in the capital, Pol Gen Pracha said floodwater from upper areas was massive and attempts to divert it to the western and eastern outskirts of Bangkok were not successful, so the rest had to run through the capital.
He admitted it was difficult to cope with the floodwater that is flowing through the drains.
Volunteers hand out drinks and food to soldiers who assist flood-affected motorists and commuters near the Major Ratchayothin cineplex on Phahon Yothin Road yesterday. APICHIT JINAKUL
Vehicles reduce speed as they drive on the flooded Phahon Yothin Road near the Major Ratchayothin cineplex. RATTASEEMA PONGSAN
Many people arrive at the Thai Red Cross head office in Bangkok to donate blood after hearing that the supply of blood is running low. PHRAKRIT JUNTAWONG
Residents gather in a protest against the opening of Khlong 9 sluice gate in Rangsit area. They insist the opening will worsen floods in their communities. KITJA APHICHONROJAREK