The Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) is calling on the government to rethink its 350-billion-baht water management scheme, saying an overhaul is needed and the project management team must be changed.
The EIT was concerned the water management scheme would meet the same fate as the Royal Thai Police Office's troubled project of constructing 396 police stations nationwide, Suwat Chaopreecha, president of the institute, said. He was speaking at a seminar on the water management scheme organised yesterday by the EIT.
"We're concerned the scheme won't finish and that will inevitably shatter public confidence in the government's 2-trillion-baht infrastructure development project," he said. The government should suspend the scheme and replace its management with a new one, he said.
The government believed mistakenly that it would benefit from the requirement that the contractors come up with a guaranteed maximum price (GMP), said Komsan Maleesee, a deputy dean of King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang's faculty of engineering.
Although the GMP was intended to prevent the project from exceeding its budget, it would not work because in reality, the contractor would usually try to make as much profit as possible and leave the least amount of money for construction, he said.
"We're also worried about the fact the terms of reference [ToR] of the scheme's sub-projects are probably drafted in favour of certain contractors to help them win the bids for construction contracts," Suwattana Chittladakorn, head of the EIT's water engineering sub-committee, said.
Pramote Maiklad, former director-general of the Royal Irrigation Department, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong had rushed the water scheme simply to show off to Japan that Thailand had money to invest.
There was no guarantee the government would take responsibility in the event the water management scheme could not be completed, Wicha Jiwalai, a member of the EIT, said.
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- Writer: Patsara Jikkham