Failure to adhere to town planning guidelines worsens the impact of natural disasters, and authorities should prepare relief in advance instead of relying on costly disaster responses, according to a discussion on disaster risks yesterday.
Chavalit Chatararat, director of consultant TEAM Group of Companies, said town planning guidelines in Thailand often differed greatly from structures actually built.
He cited several districts of Bangkok as clear examples.
"Nong Chok, Min Buri and Lat Krabang districts of Bangkok are defined as agricultural areas and the height of buildings is capped at three storeys there. They are meant to be floodways but there are roads, industrial estates, golf courses and houses. Even Suvarnabhumi airport stands in a floodway.
"It is obvious that we collectively violate laws and town planning. Without law enforcement to solve the problem, great damage will happen," Mr Chavalit said.
He also said equatorial countries were more subject to weather fluctuations, and that global warming had shortened natural disaster cycles from 10-15 years to 4-6 years.
Mr Chavalit said that in 90 years, global temperatures would rise by 2-4 degrees Celsius, and the temperature in Thailand may peak at 46 degrees.
Thawida Kamolvej, deputy dean of the faculty of political sciences of Thammasat University, suggested the government assess disaster risks and prepare relief measures beforehand.
From the private sector, Wilaiporn Thaweelarppanthong, a stakeholder of PricewaterhouseCoopers, specialising in business advisory, said the government and the private sector should prepare measures to cope with the natural disasters in advance.
She said the measures should be designed for implementation before, during and after a disaster, and they had to be concise and clear.
About the author
- Writer: Patsara Jikkham