Thailand to build US$3.2-billion 240km canal from Chai Nat province to the Gulf of Thailand to prevent flooding
The Thai government is planning to spend 100 billion baht (over 3.2 billion USD) to develop a 240km canal running from Chai Nat province to the Gulf of Thailand to prevent flooding in the country’s central region.
According to the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR), this is one of nine water management infrastructure projects by the government to prevent a repeat of 2011’s epic floods in the country.
It aims to divert floodwater from the upper central region straight to the Gulf.
Construction of the project is set to begin next year, and it would take 10 years to complete, secretary-general of the ONWR Somkiat Prajamwong, was quoted by the Bangkok Post newspaper as saying.
The Thai Government agencies collaborated with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to draft a master plan, dubbed the “Flood Management Plans for the Chao Phraya River Basin”.
JICA began advising Thailand on flood management after the 2011 disaster that resulted in over 800 deaths and millions displaced. The master plan was approved in principle by the Thai government a few years after.
The ONWR said the 240km canal plan is now the largest project in terms of investment, adding that the waterway is expected to be built away from communities.
Meanwhile, the Thai Cabinet on August 12 approved an additional 11.8 billion baht (387.9 million USD) to address droughts and floods across the country.
According to Somkiat, this additional budget is in line with action plans made under the national strategy to mitigate impacts of droughts and floods in the Southeast Asian nation.