Building for the long-term

Bangkok governor says it is a waste of money to purchase sandbags and water pumps. Gigantic drainage tunnels are the answer to city's flood problems. (Includes TV report)

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Thinking big

To Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra, purchasing sandbags and water pumps for flood control is a waste of money.

‘‘Over the past three years, Bangkok has spent more than 11 billion baht on those short-term flood prevention measures,” he said yesterday.

“However, Bangkok is still flooded after heavy rain. It’s because those measures are not a long-term answer to the flood problem.’’

Bigger and more permanent solutions are required he said and he announced that City Hall is planning to build four more giant underground tunnels to complete its ambitious and long-term flood prevention plan for Bangkok.

The added tunnels would double the efficiency of the city’s water drainage system, MR Sukhumbhand said .

The new drainage system will be made up of four gigantic tunnels, each with a diameter of five to six metres.

They will be about three times larger than existing drains which are 1.8m in diameter.

The four new tunnels will increase the total length of drainage tunnels in Bangkok to 50km from 14km.

The first tunnel would be completed and enter operation in January, MR Sukhumbhand said.

Construction of the second tunnel is expected to begin during the first half of next year and the third and fourth in 2012.

The project has been supported by the Engineering Institute of Thailand, he said.

Suchatvee Suwansawat, dean of engineering at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, said building underground drainage tunnels was the best way to prevent flooding in major cities.

Drainage tunnel systems had been constructed in several major cities in other countries to prevent flooding, said Mr
Suchatvee, who is a member of the tunnel and underground construction committee of the Engineering Institute of Thailand.

The cost for the construction of underground drainage tunnels is about 150 million baht a kilometre, he said.

Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok post by Supoj Wancharoen, Amornrat Mahitthirook and Pradit Ruangdit.

waste – the failure to use something valuable in an effective way, so that it does not produce the benefits that it could การสูญเสียไปโดยเปล่าประโยชน์
purchase – to buy something  ซื้อ
pump – a piece of equipment for making a liquid or gas move into or out of something  เครื่องสูบ(น้ำ etc.)
gigantic – extremely large มหึมา ใหญ่โต
drainage – the system of water or waste liquids flowing away from somewhere into the ground or down pipes การระบายน้ำ
prevention – preventing something bad from happening การป้องกันภ้ย
measure – an action taken to solve a particular problem มาตรการ
permanent – happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future ถาวร  
a way to solve a problem or to deal with a bad situation วิธีแก้ปัญหา
tunnel – an underground passage อุโมงค์
ambitious – difficult and needing a lot of effort to succeed ความทะเยอทยาน
efficiency – the ability to work well and produce good results by using the available time, money, supplies etc in the most effective way ความมีประสิทธิภาพ
diameter – the length of a straight line that crosses a circle through the centre เส้นผ่านศูนย์กลาง
enter operation – to start working เริ่มดำเนินการ
construction – the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. การก่อสร้าง
dean – a senior official at a college or university, often the head of a faculty or department คณบดี (ทางการศึกษา)

Television report

This morning's English language news report on NBT (Channel 11), a Bangkok Post production, begins with a report on the planned flood system. You will hear much of the same information as is in the story above, but there will be new information as well.

Related search: Bangkok, floods, tunnels, drainage

About the author

Writer: Terry Fredrickson
Position: Education Marketing and Support Manager