Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday reaffirmed her government's commitment to improve transport and tourism in the Northeast through transport infrastructure investments.
Speaking live from Nong Khai on the weekly Yingluck Government Meets the People programme on NBT, the premier also defended her government's plans to build more dams to manage water better.
Transport system development in Isan, she said, was part of the 2-trillion-baht infrastructure development programme for which the government is seeking borrowing approval.
The megaprojects include a high-speed rail link between Bangkok and Nong Khai and a four-lane highway to Nong Khai.
The premier said the northeastern province could benefit from tourism through more promotion of its attractions including the naga fireballs on the Mekong River.
The government is planning to upgrade many border checkpoints in the Northeast as special trade zones to increase trade and investment in the border provinces, she added.
The premier also insisted that it was necessary for the government to build dams to contain water and prevent flooding.
The projects would cause some damage to the environment, particularly forest areas, she acknowledged. However she maintained that reforestation projects would plant three times as many trees as those lost.
Asked whether her government would stay on until its full four-year term ends, Ms Yingluck said that would depend on what the people want.
Discussing the ongoing anti-government protests, the premier said the government was ready to listen to all opinions and suggestions and would use peaceful means in dealing with protesters.