Despite the high price tag, the plan will be worthwhile
Although a proposed initiative to construct a 100-kilometre tunnel to prevent future flooding in and around the capital will carry a hefty price tag, it is worth the cost, say underground tunnelling system analysts.
‘Tha‘iland has a few options. No major city relies solely on the canal ZAW ZAW AYE Secretary-General, World Tunnel Congress 2012 Organising
“Thailand has a few options. No major city relies solely on the canal. The advantage of underground tunnels is they don’t require any additional land,” said Zaw Zaw Aye, secretary-general of the World Tunnel Congress 2012 Organising Committee. “For example, if the damage from flooding is 1 trillion dollars, an underground tunnel system could lessen the damage to 5% of that amount,” he said.
Olivier Vion, executive director of the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association (ITA), said a tunnel could be considered an investment, as foreign investors are considering moving their production elsewhere if the government doesn’t develop a water management plan.
“We are convinced the use of underground space is useful and necessary, and it needs to be studied further,” said Mr Vion.
Spending 200 billion baht to build a 100-km tunnel to prevent future flooding in and around the capital was recently proposed by the Thailand Underground and Tunnelling Group (TUTG). The tunnel would be designed with a double-deck structure, called a multi-service flood tunnel system, and equipped with hydropower generators for power production.
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