Judge: Water project needs hearings
A Central Administrative Court judge on Tuesday suggested the government conduct public hearings before it starts on the main parts of its building the major 350-billion-baht water management and flood infrastructure plan.
- Published: 25/06/2013 at 05:50 PM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
The suggestion was made by Wassana Malithong, an administrative court judge who also serves as the spokesperson for a suit filed by Srisuwan Janya, chairman of the Anti Global Warming Association.
Mr Srisuwan's suit asks the court to order the Water and Flood Management Committee (WFMC) to cancel all projects until a public hearing is held. It suit names Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and the WFMC as joint defendants, responsible for the planned spending.
The government has awarded construction contracts for all nine parts of the overall plan. Mr Srisuwan wants the court to order the contracts cancelled or put into limbo.
Judge Wassana said fellow judges held the first hearing on the lawsuit Tuesday, and will rule on its merits on Thursday. Her suggestion to the media for a public hearing is considered a personal opinion, and does not bear on the actual court case.
On Tuesday, representatives of both the government and Mr Srisuwan's group were ordered to testify on the case, and to submit a written statement.
Ms Wassana said she had forwarded her suggestion to the the panel hearing the case. She said she felt the court should order that a public hearing must be held, since the project covers large areas of the country, affects many people, and involves the cutting of trees.
Each of the nine modules could have adverse effects on communities and the environment, she said. She believed Section 67 of the constitution demands that a public hearing be held before a contract is made with a construction firm.
Mr Srisuwan said he hoped Judge Wassana's suggestion would carry enough weight for the panel of judges handling the case to deliver the verdict in that direction.
He said such a verdict would require the government to cancel the master plan, and begin again with its anti-flood programme, starting this time with compiling opinions from the people involved at the level of local communities.
About the author
- Writer: Online Reporters
- Position: Online Reporters