Hundreds of Nonthaburi residents won their demand for all sluice gates along Khlong Maha Sawat to be opened wider, but just how wide is still being worked out.
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Locals win fight over sluice gate
Two residents of flood-affected Nonthaburi province lose their temper during a meeting with the local administration yesterday over their demands for more effective flood drainage methods. SURAPOL PROMSAKA NA SAKOLNAKORN
Hundreds of Nonthaburi residents won their demand for all sluice gates along Khlong Maha Sawat to be opened wider to ease their flood misery during a rally at the provincial hall on Tuesday.
The Nonthaburi provincial authority, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and the Flood Relief Operations Command (Froc) agreed to the residents' demand after around 500 of them showed up to stage a noisy protest after weeks of heavy flooding in their communities.
The residents from Bang Bua Thong, Bang Yai, Bang Kruai, Sai Noi, Pak Kret and Muang districts had previously blockaded a road in front of the town hall on Rattanathibet Road on Sunday to protest what they said was officials' inaction over their flood ordeal.
They demanded in Tuesday's rally that all sluice gates on Khlong Maha Sawat be opened wider so the stagnant floodwater in their communities would be drained through Bangkok and out into the sea. Khlong Maha Sawat borders Nonthaburi and Bangkok.
The protesters were infuriated by televised comments by a senior government official on Monday night saying that the drainage of floodwater in their areas had been slow because they had weak local leaders and they did not band together to help themselves.
"Isn't it the duty of the government to provide pumps and other means to drain the water out of our homes?" said a protester from Buathong Residence housing estate who evacuated his home a month ago after it was flooded.
"Do we have to keep on paying rent elsewhere because our homes are under water and stink so that areas in the capital can remain dry and clean?" said another protester from Bangrak Pattana sub-district.
Core protester representatives met for two hours with Nonthaburi governor Wichian Phutthiwinyu who angered the residents even more when he came down to read a letter from Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra responding to their demand.
MR Sukhumbhand said in his letter the BMA would open the sluice gates step by step – from the present 50cm high to 70cm. They would be lifted higher after a two-day evaluation of the impact before being opened further to 1m.
The governor fled and disappeared from the scene for hours after the protesters vented their anger at his response, leaving Pheu Thai MP from Nonthaburi Chalong Riewraeng and Froc spokesman Pol Gen Pongsapat Pongcharoen to deal with the protest.
The governor and Froc spokesman later agreed to bring some 30 representatives of the protesters to witness the opening of all sluice gates as previously demanded by the residents.
Water Draining Committee chairman Veera Wongsaengnak told the Nonthaburi residents earlier at the meeting that more water pumps would be brought to the Bangyai and Bang Kruai areas.
In 10 days, with all local authorities and other agencies support, the water should be drained sufficiently to allow small cars to travel, he said.
residents – people who live in a particular area ประชาชนที่อาศัยในท้องที่
lose your temper – to suddenly get angry อารมณ์เสีย
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
administration – government รัฐบาล
demand – the amount of a product or service that people want ความต้องการ
effective – producing the result that was intended ได้ผลดี
drainage – the process of taking away of water or other liquids from an area การระบายน้ำ
sluice gate – a gate that can be opened or closed to control the flow water along a passage ประตูน้ำปิดเปิดบังคับการไหลของน้ำในคลอง
ease – to make a problem, situation or pain less severe or serious บรรเทา
misery – something that causes people to suffer or be unhappy ความทุกข์ยาก, ความยากแค้น, ความเดือดร้อน
rally – a large public gathering of people to support someone or to protest against something การชุมนุม
provincial authority – the government of a province
Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) – the local government of Bangkok กรุงเทพมหานคร
Flood Relief Operations Centre (Froc) – the government's centre for assisting flood victims ศูนย์ปฎิบัติการช่วยเหลือผู้ประสบอุทกภัย(ศปภ)
show up – to arrive at a place แสดงตัว, ปรากฏตัว
stage – to organise an event or activity จัด
protest – a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
blockade – to stop someone/ something from moving through or along something else ปิดกั้น, กีดขวาง
inaction – lack of action ความเฉื่อยชา, ความเกียจคร้าน
ordeal – an extremely unpleasant experience, especially one that lasts for a long time ประสบการณ์ที่แสนสาหัส
stagnant – (of water or air) not moving and therefore smells unpleasant นิ่ง, น้ำทรง
infuriate – to cause someone to become extremely angry ทำให้โกรธ
comment – expressing an opinion แสดงความคิดเห็น
senior – with a high rank or position อาวุโส
band together – to gather; to come together in a group รวมกลุ่ม, รวมตัวกัน
means – methods; ways วิธี, วิธีการ
housing estate – residential estate; an area containing a large number of houses or apartments built close together at the same time บ้านจัดสรร
evacuate – to leave a place because it is not safe อพยพออกจากพื้นที่
rent – to pay money for the use of something for a period of time เช่า
stink – a very bad smell กลิ่นเหม็น
core – of members of a group who do the most important work, or who support it most strongly แก่น แกนนำ
representative – someone who has been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them ผู้แทน
evaluation – the process of thinking carefully about something before making a judgment about its value, importance, or quality การประเมินผล
impact – an effect or influence ผลกระทบ
fled (past of flee) – escaped; left an area very quickly because of a danger there หนีไป
disappear – to move something or someone somewhere where they can no longer be seen หายไป, สาบสูญ, สูญหาย
scene – site; a place where something happens or happened สถานที่เกิดเหตุ
vent – to express your feelings of anger very strongly แสดงออก, ปล่อยอารมณ์, ระบายอารมณ์
deal with – to take action to solve a problem จัดการปัญหา
witness – to see something happen – เป็นพยาน
sufficiently – enough เพียงพอ
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